Innovative solar structure shades Sun Devils

Visitors to Arizona State Universitys (ASU) Tempe campus soon will be shaded when parking in a lot adjacent to Sun Devil Stadium by an innovative, patent-pending solar structure design that generates 2.1 megawatts (MW) of electricity. 
This groundbreaking solar installation project marks the first partnership between ASU and NRG Solar, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), which is expanding its portfolio of solar renewable energy projects in Arizona.

The 5.25-acre PowerParasol design will cover 800 covered parking spaces in lot 59, the universitys largest blacktop surface parking lot adjacent to Packard Stadium. Within the 25-year, $10.5-million agreement, NRG will own and operate the PowerParasol, and in exchange, ASU will pay flat electricity rates during the term. Within three to four years, the university should experience reduced electricity rates.

ASU also has the opportunity to reduce further the total project cost through revenue streams including the ability to generate advertising income made possible from signage that can be displayed on eight-foot-wide lateral structural supports that stabilize the PowerParasol.

Today marks another important step in the universitys commitment to renewable energy, sustainability and entrepreneurial initiative, said ASU President Michael Crow. Our vision for the future of this university involves innovation and technology and we are fortunate to have a partner like NRG that came to the table and made an investment that made this project a reality.

The initial PowerParasol project is the vision of Arizona-based Strategic Solar Energy, LLC. Construction on the structure is slated to begin in mid-August, 2011 and to be completed before the end of 2011.

In addition to shaded parking, the 24-foot-high PowerParasol also provides nighttime lighting for better security and allows some natural light to shine through, creating areas for landscaping and a comfortable, functional environment. Cell phone antennas, security cameras, and vehicle electrical charging stations also can be incorporated into the PowerParasol design.

Were happy to work with ASU on a project that is affordable, aesthetically pleasing, environmentally forward thinking and enhances the experience for visitors to the ASU campus, said Tom Doyle, President of NRG's Solar and West Region.

About NRG Energy and NRG Solar

NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company, owns and operates one of the countrys largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Companys power plants provide more than 25,000 megawatts of generation capacityenough to supply approximately 20 million homes. NRGs retail businesses Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Companyserve nearly 1.9 million residential, business, commercial, and industrial customers.

NRG Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NRG, has more than 2,000 MW of photovoltaic and solar thermal projects under development or in construction across the southwestern United States. With major investments in solar and wind power, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, NRG is working to help America transition to a clean energy economy.

About Strategic Solar Energy LLC

Strategic Solar Energy LLC, an Arizona based company, is focused on creating innovative renewable energy technology solutions and PowerParasol is the first such product.

About Arizona State University

Arizona State University is a New American Universitya major public educational institution, a premier research center and a leader in innovation. Our vision is described by our three core principles: excellence in scholarship, access to education and impact in our global community. As a New American University, ASU is intellectually vibrant, socially conscious and globally engaged.
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