Solano Community College District (SCCD), SunPower Corp. and Kitchell dedicated 2.8 MW of solar power systems installed at three district locations. According to SCCD, the systems are expected to generate enough electricity to meet as much as 50 percent or more of annual electricity demand at the three sites.
“Solar power is a reliable, affordable means to reduce our operational costs as well as our dependence on fossil fuels,” said SCCD Vice President of Finance and Administration Yulian Ligioso. “With SunPower as our solar technology provider, we expect the systems will generate significant savings over the next 25 years for the benefit of the district, our students and our communities.”
SunPower designed and constructed the systems, which are installed on solar parking canopies at the district’s Fairfield campus, and at district centers in Vacaville and Vallejo, Calif. The systems use high efficiency SunPower solar panels, the most efficient panels on the market today. Kitchell performed program management services and provided construction oversight for the district at all three locations.
“Installing these high efficiency systems on solar shade structures in parking lots allows the district to maximize the clean, renewable energy generated while taking advantage of underutilized space and providing needed shade,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “With on-campus SunPower systems that deliver guaranteed performance, Solano Community College District can realize long-term savings that can be used to enhance academic programs.”
According to industry estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 2.8 MW of SunPower systems are expected to offset the production of roughly 2,200 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to removing approximately 10,850 passenger vehicles from California’s highways over the next 25 years.
SunPower has installed approximately 20 MW of solar power systems at 12 community college districts in California. The systems are generating enough clean, renewable solar electricity to power more than 4,100 California homes each year, according to calculations provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association. At current utility rates, it’s estimated the districts are avoiding approximately $5.4 million in annual electricity costs.
— Solar Builder magazine