TURLOCK – The sun’s energy will generate electricity at California State University, Stanislaus as part of a statewide project designed to benefit the environment and reduce power costs.
CSU Stanislaus is one of 16 California State University campuses scheduled to have solar-generating equipment installed that will deliver zero-emission renewable energy directly to the campus at economical costs. 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 in October 2008.
CSU Stanislaus is finalizing contracts this month with SunEdison that call for installation of the photovoltaic system to start this summer. The project will include solar panels mounted on canopy-style structures in the parking lot areas on the west side of the campus as well as on the roofs of Bizzini Hall and Vasché Library. The roof projects are expected to be completed and generating energy by this fall.
Under future consideration for additional solar panels is the roof of the original Science Building which is scheduled for renovation in the next two years. Other sites could be added under the same agreement over the span of the five-year contract, according to University officials.
“California State University, Stanislaus is committed to expanding green technology on campus in order to reduce use of energy sources that produce greenhouse gases,” President Hamid Shirvani said. “The University will receive lower-priced energy from this project while participating in a partnership that benefits our state’s environment and expands CSU Stanislaus’ status as a green campus.”
Under the agreements reached through the statewide competitive bidding process managed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and 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 cost of solar panels vary from place to place, depending on a variety of factors, so TXU energy rates could help people who are interested in buying solar panels to get an idea of how much they’ll cost to run. This project in California is supplying the solar panels for the campus but many people are interested in buying renewable energy for their own home.
Energy savings for CSU Stanislaus during the 20-year contract period could be considerable. Estimated costs for the power are projected to be about 7.49 cents per kilowatt hour escalating at 2 percent per year compared to current power rates that are increasing this year to an average of 10.8 cents per kilowatt hour.
The photovoltaic systems being installed at CSU campuses are expected to deliver approximately 1.2 million kilowatt hours of energy in their first year of operation, enough to cover energy consumption in more than 1,200 homes. The new agreements will increase to 20 percent the portion of CSU power that comes from green sources.
For more information on the Web about the CSU project, go to the Governor’s Office Web site at http://www.gov.ca.gov/press-release/10860/ and the CSU Web site at http://www.calstate.edu/PA/news/2008/photovoltaic.shtml. Or contact Erik Fallis in Public Affairs at the CSU Chancellor’s Office, (562) 477-7317.