By partnering with SunPower, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) will install a total of 5.2MW PV systems for rooftops and parking lots on its campus. The electricity generated will be completely acquired by UCSB through a long-term PPA with SunPower. The systems are expected to offset 12% of UCSB’s power consumption.
SunPower was awarded the contract with UCSB after a lengthy feasibility analysis and competitive process that was initiated in 2014. Construction on the systems is expected to begin early next year, with system operation anticipated by year end 2016. The university will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.
"These planned SunPower systems represent a key step in our efforts to meet goals set by the University of California and UC President Napolitano to become carbon neutral by 2025," said Marc Fisher, UCSB's vice chancellor for administrative services. "This is good for the university and good for the campus, which is deeply committed to sustainability.
UCSB will buy the electricityfor less than the cost of peak demand utility power. The university estimates to save nearly US$270,000 in the first year of system operations and approximately $14 million over 20 years. The saved money can be used to invest in more energy saving projects.
SunPower will build six projects on the campus, including two rooftop projects and four parking lots installations. All the projects will utilize SunPower’s Helix™ platform to increase long-term power yield as well as lower installing costs.
The new systems will increase more than ten-fold the amount of solar energy currently being generated on UCSB's campus, according to the university.