The University of California (UC), Merced is about to generate 50 percent of its energy with solar power from a new 5-megawatt solar installation on campus as well as an existing solar array. The project is key to the university’s Triple Zero Commitment under which it plans to power its buildings with 100 percent renewable energy, create zero greenhouse emissions and eliminate landfill waste campus-wide by 2020.
SunPower will develop a 5 megawatt carport and rooftop solar installation on campus with a 500-kilowatt hour energy storage system as part of its campus expansion plan. The Stem energy storage system integrates energy management software in order to maximize efficiency and decrease the university’s yearly energy costs.
"UC Merced is a sustainability leader in higher education, and we are committed to supporting economic, socially responsible and environmentally conscious initiatives," said Colleen McCormick, the university's director of sustainability. "We have always set ambitious goals for sustainability in our campus construction and operations, and this partnership with SunPower will help us reach those goals."
The project is the second collaboration between UC Merced and SunPower. The company installed a 1-megawatt ground-mounted, tracking solar array on campus in 2009, generating 20 percent of its annual power needs. The combined 6 megawatts are expected to generate half of the campus’ annual electricity demands and reduce emissions equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road during the projects’ 25-year life-cycle.
"It's an honor to help customers like UC Merced get closer to their sustainability goals with SunPower's dependable solar solutions," said Nam Nguyen, SunPower executive vice president. "With a well-regarded reputation for delivering high-efficiency, cost effective solar solutions to schools and higher education facilities nationwide, SunPower looks forward to helping UC Merced achieve the economic and environmental value that SunPower's quality solar and storage solution enables."
The UC system is proactively setting goals to develop more renewable energy sources to power its facilities. Overall, it will source 14 percent of its annual energy demands from the 80 megawatt Five Points Solar Park in Fresno County, CA, which is expected to come online this year. UC’s 25-year power purchase agreement is currenty the largest of any university system in the US.Tweet