TURLOCK – California State University, Stanislaus hopes to be generating solar power on its campus within two years as part of a statewide project announced on Tuesday.
CSU Stanislaus is one of 16 California State University campuses scheduled to have solar-generating equipment installed that will deliver zero-emission 8 megawatt (MW) renewable energy. The California Department of General Services (DGS) is spearheading the projects through a public-private partnership agreement with solar service provider SunEdison that was announced at a Tuesday news conference on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Specific details of the CSU Stanislaus project which would include solar panels mounted on canapy-style structures in the parking lot areas on the west side of the campus are still in the planning stages. CSU Stanislaus and CSU Chancellor’s Office officials expect to have a contract worked out for the project with SunEdison in about a month. It could also include installation of solar panels on the roofs of Bizzini Hall, Vasché Library and the original Science building. Preliminary plans call for project design work to start in January 2009 and installation to happen from May 2009 through 2011. Other sites could be added over the span of the five-year contract, according to University officials.
“California State University, Stanislaus is committed to doing whatever it can to become a green campus by using our plentiful sunshine to generate power,” President Hamid Shirvani said. “Our new Flora and Hashim Naraghi Hall of Science has been certified as a green building, and projects like this one will help us do our part to reduce use of energy sources that produce greenhouse gases and add to global warming. We are grateful to the Governor and the State of California for facilitating public-private partnerships that make green energy a reality.”
The photovoltaic systems being installed at CSU campuses are expected to deliver approximately 12.2 million kilowatt hours of energy in their first year of operation, enough to cover energy consumption in more than 1,200 homes. Under the agreements reached through the statewide competitive bidding process managed by the DGS, SunEdison will finance, build, and operate the solar energy systems. CSU campuses will purchase the clean solar energy at prices equal to or less than current retail rates.
The new agreements will increase to 20 percent the portion of CSU power that comes from green sources.