Santa Monica College and Chevron team up with solar installation

Santa Monica College will celebrate the installation of its first major solar project this Friday.
Santa Monica College Quad.jpgThe school has partnered with Chevron Energy Solutions, based in San Francisco, for the project. Chevron has installed and will maintain and own the panels, leasing them to the school. The panels, secured atop two parking structures, will generate 408 kilowatts of power and save the college about $8,000 a month in utility costs, according to a press release from the school.

The college has made a public commitment to sustainability, said Judy Neveau, the institutions community relations director. We always try to do things as sustainable as possible.

She said the administration has been looking for a way to reduce the schools carbon footprint and reduce energy costs for some time now.

This has been a long time coming, she said. And its really great to finally have things off the ground. And they literally are off the ground since its a parking structure.

The new grid-tied photovoltaic solar system will provide all of the energy the two parking garages need along with much of the power for the adjacent business education building, according to the press release.

We are committed to academic excellence, global responsibility and educational, environmental and economical awareness," Dr. Chui L. Tsang, president of Santa Monica College was quoted in the release. "Our collaboration with Chevron Energy Solutions allows us to reduce the amount of energy used and lessen our college's carbon footprint.

The project costs about $3.6 million, according to the release, and is expected to save the college $14 million over its lifetime.

It will produce over 50 megawatts of energy and reduce carbon emissions by 1,500 metric tons, the equivalent of preserving 13 acres of forest, according to the release.

Neveau said she would not be surprised if its just the first among many solar and sustainable projects at the school.

The college has invited city representatives and state officials to its dedication ceremony at the top of the parking structure this Friday. Chevrons CEO will fly down from northern California for the event.

Its going to be on top of a parking structure in the middle of the afternoon, Neveau said, so, of course, it will be pretty informal.
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