Kyocera Solar, Inc. and the Associated Students of San Diego State University (SDSU) announced the completion of a 355.9 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic energy system on the school’s campus, part of a student-approved plan to build a new LEED Platinum student union building. An inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 11.
In an effort that brought together San Diego-area partners, the construction was completed by Independent Energy Solutions, Inc. of Vista, Calif., using 1,680 Kyocera KD240 solar modules produced at Kyocera’s San Diego manufacturing facility. Mounted on a carport structure on a campus parking building, Independent Energy Solutions designed the system to resist wind uplift and to mitigate seismic concerns, providing added assurance for long-term efficiency and adaptability. The utility-tied system has an expected yearly power production of 583,267 kilowatt hours (kWh) — enough energy to power almost 100 area homes each year.
The Associated Students of San Diego State University, a student-directed corporation, funded the system. Financing came as a result of a 2008 student-approved fee referendum directing a portion of funds to promote sustainability initiatives, including educational programs and facility upgrades. Funding was aided in part by a California Solar Initiative Performance Based Incentive, a program that focuses on how much electricity the system produces over five years.
SDSU views sustainability as a long-term plan — the university is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and began offering a Sustainability and Environmental Studies major in 2009. "Creating a sustainable campus and community is a priority for SDSU faculty, students and staff," stated Morgan Chan, Associated Students' Sustainability Commissioner. "Students at SDSU are each making an investment in their own future, but recognize the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy benefiting future Aztec generations." SDSU’s array contributes to the total of over 11 megawatts of photovoltaic energy installed at California State University (CSU) campuses throughout the state. CSU’s growing renewable energy portfolio is a cornerstone of its commitment to energy independence and providing a sustainable campus environment for students.
Kyocera, with a 37-year history of environmental preservation and solar innovation, is recognized as a global leader in the solar industry for its high-performance modules, as evidenced by its repeated record-breaking cell efficiencies and its distinction of producing the world’s first modules to have passed the Long-Term Sequential Test performed by TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd. As part of its commitment to offer quality solar modules that meet the growing demand for U.S.-made products, Kyocera has developed a manufacturing presence in San Diego. “Projects such as this exemplify the need for high-quality, efficient solar modules available from U.S.-based manufacturers,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc. “This installation proved to be a successful and rewarding venture as we were able to unite partners that live and work in the San Diego community.”