Fresno State Solar Installation To Provide 20% Of Power Needs

by | Nov 9, 2007

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Fresno State has completed a large-scale solar power installation that will supply 20 percent of the university’s annual power needs.

The 1.1-megawatt solar system — installed by Chevron Energy Solutions — is expected to save Fresno State more than $13 million in avoided utility costs over its 30-year lifespan.

The 10 structures, which provide the only shaded parking on the campus, comprise 3,872 photovoltaic panels mounted on top of more than 700 carport stalls constructed in parking lots on the southeast side of campus. The renewable energy system is expected to generate more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours of power each year, offsetting the production of about 950 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to planting more than 24,300 new trees or removing more than 200 cars from the road every year.

The $11.9 million project cost was partially offset by a $2.8 million rebate administered by Pacific Gas & Electric Company under the State of California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program. The project was financed through a Power Purchase Agreement with MMA Renewable Ventures, which owns and operates the PV installation. Under a 20-year contract, Fresno State is purchasing the power generated by the solar installation from MMA Renewable Ventures.

Parking lots are seen as a prime location for solar power installations. Google has installed solar canopies on its parking lots to satisfy 30 percent of its headquarters’ power demand.

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