President of California State University Bakersfield (CSUB), Dr. Horace Mitchell and Sun Edison LLC, a worldwide solar energy services provider and a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), will host a "Flip the Switch" ceremony to commemorate the activation of the 1.2 megawatt (MW) solar parking canopy located on the CSUB campus.
The solar parking canopy was made possible through a Solar Power Service Agreement (SPSA) between CSUB and SunEdison that required no upfront costs from the university. CSUB will purchase the clean energy produced over a period of 20 years to offset their demand from the utility grid. CSUB will also retain the renewable energy credits generated by the production of clean energy from the solar parking canopy.
"CSUB is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and we are taking tangible steps in several areas to enhance our environmental sustainability," said Dr. Mitchell. "One of these steps is to purchase or produce at least 15 percent of our electricity from renewable sources. I'm pleased that, through our partnership with SunEdison, we will be able to exceed this goal as our new solar system will provide between 25 to 30 percent of our total energy use."
The 1.2 MW solar parking canopy will generate over 1.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy in the first year of operation and produce over 30 million kWh over 20 years. That is enough energy to power more than 3,100 average U.S. homes for one year. The solar parking canopy will offset more than 29 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the initial 20 years of operation -- the equivalent of taking 2,800 cars off the road.
"SunEdison continues to provide smart solar solutions to universities and school systems across our nation," said Jaime A. Smith, U.S. Vice President of Commercial Systems for SunEdison. "By bringing together our strong financing capabilities along with cutting-edge technologies, SunEdison makes affordable solar solutions a reality for universities like CSUB."
The activation of the 1.2MW solar parking canopy marks the eighth solar power deployment for the CSU system by SunEdison, totaling more than 4.3MW of solar capacity.