UCSD Installs 1.2 MW Solar Array

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The University of California, San Diego, in support of its ambitious goal of being the greenest university in the U.S., are installing a 1.2 MW solar electric system as part of its comprehensive sustainable energy program. This system will contribute approximately 1.5 million kW hours of clean energy to the university per year and be one of the largest non-utility solar arrays in California. The project is just part of a university effort to become energy independent, and should be finished and functionally running by the end of the year.

Contracted by Borrego Solar, the system will consist of almost 6,000 Kyocera solar modules mounted on top of the Gilman parking structure, the Price Center, and several other campus buildings, using creative architecture to integrate the technology with existing structures. The $9 million project is being financed through a purchase power agreement (PPA) through Solar Power Partners.

“UC San Diego prides itself on being one of the nation’s leading universities when it comes to environmental responsibility and energy efficiency, and the launch of our comprehensive sustainable energy program continues to promote our green efforts,” said David Weil, assistant director of UC San Diego’s facilities management. “We are grateful to Borrego Solar, Solar Power Partners and Kyocera Solar for their assistance in helping make the solar energy aspect of this project a reality. Borrego’s experience and expertise will allow us to quickly activate the system and maximize its efficiency, and Solar Power Partners’ PPA provided us with a creative financing solution that fits our needs.”

Along with the solar panels, UCSD will use energy produced from methane-powered fuel cells and purchased off-campus wind energy and hopes to produce 2.9 MW of clean energy per year, enough to power 1,500 homes. With almost assured success of the initial solar array, university and industry officials are confident that this array will grow in the future.

>> Calculate the solar potential of your California home with Renewzle’s solar calculator.

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