Solar Project Powers Up

Smart Grid

Sacramento State is taking its latest energy conservation efforts to the roof. Over the next few weeks, solar panels are being installed on the roofs of the Library and The WELL, as part of the University’s Photovoltaic (PV) Electricity Generation Project, which is estimated to generate around 700,000 annual kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar electricity for the campus.

The University will purchase power generated from the system at a fixed rate of $0.1086/kWh over the next 20 years, but will assume no cost for installation, materials or system maintenance. With no increases for inflation, significant savings are expected to accrue over the long-term. The private company who owns the system will bear the cost of installation and maintenance.

Sac State currently uses about 43 million kWh per year, so this system generates about 1.6 percent of the total usage. “A key benefit is that it maximizes electricity generation at the same time of day when all of us are running our air conditioning and when the highest demand is on the electric grid,” says Linda Hafar, senior director of Sac State’s Sustainability and Plant Operations. “These systems not only provide relief to the electric grid, they do it without generating greenhouse gas emissions.”

Sacramento State is well known in the region for its clean air and sustainability programs.