by Naftali Moed (UC Davis):
As the UC system moves towards fulfilling the 2025 carbon neutrality goal, increasing on-campus generated renewable energy will be critical in order to attain success. At UC Davis, work is underway in the construction of a 16.3 Megawatt solar power plant on a 62 acre site in the southern portion of the campus. The project, which is being constructed by SunPower, is projected to produce 33 Million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year (over 14% of UC Davis’s annual electrical usage). Sunpower will continue to operate the facility after its completion and sell all of the power generated to UC Davis on fixed pricing scheme, which is projected to save UC Davis $8-10 million dollars over the next 20 years. Beyond cutting the Davis carbon footprint by approximately 9%, it will push UC Davis up to sixth place on the EPA’s list for on-site renewable energy generation (following Walmart, The US Department of Energy, Apple, BMW and Coke)!
As the project moves forward, UC Davis student’s can expect to hear more about it around campus and in the classroom. After the plant becomes operational in Fall 2015 it will provide UC Davis with research and teaching opportunities as well as other avenues for students to learn more about large scale PV Solar. Look out for more information in the coming months as the project nears completion!
Check out the pictures below to get some perspective on the scope of this project:
Photo Credit: UC Davis Design and Construction Management
Information Source: David Phillips, Director of UC Davis Utilities