Gavilan College recently selected SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) to deploy a fully integrated solar and storage project at its campus in Gilroy, Calif. A SunPower® Helix™ Carport system totaling about 1.4 megawatts will be installed across two of the college's largest parking lots, enhanced by a 250-kilowatt (500 kilowatt-hour) energy storage solution from Stem, Inc. to help deliver significant demand charge savings.
System construction is currently underway, with completion expected before the end of 2017. To help finance the project, Gavilan Joint Community College District secured U.S. Department of Treasury clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs) with a 1.05 percent interest rate after a federal tax credit, which allow public sector entities to fund renewable energy projects. The district will own the solar power system along with the associated renewable energy credits.
"Investing in cleaner energy while providing covered parking for our students with this solar carport system made complete sense for us," said Frederick E. Harris, Vice President of Administrative Services at Gavilan College. "Together with SunPower, we have designed a unique system that will offset approximately 75 percent of our electricity use on the Gilroy campus, include a storage system allowing us to avoid expensive utility demand charges, feature enhanced parking lot lighting, and incorporate up to 102 electric car charging stations in compliance with the California Green Building Code."
SunPower's complete carport solution features high-efficiency solar panels that maximize energy production, delivering 45 percent more electricity in the same amount of space over 25 years compared to conventional solar panels. They are also backed by an industry-leading power and product warranty, providing customer confidence over the life of the contract. Stem, Inc. will provide an AI-driven energy storage solution to help maximize the value of the solar project.
"We're especially excited about SunPower's 25-year Demand Assurance Guarantee that covers product performance, energy production, operation and maintenance," Harris continued. "Combined with system monitoring capabilities and innovative classroom curriculum that SunPower has developed, we'll have the ability to create valuable instructional opportunities for our students and community members."
SunPower has long been a trusted solar partner for colleges and schools in California given the company's extensive experience delivering innovative energy solutions to education customers.
"We congratulate Gavilan College for taking control of energy costs with reliable solar and storage solutions from SunPower," said Nam Nguyen, SunPower executive vice president. "With more than 32 years of experience in solar, colleges across the country rely on SunPower to deliver leading renewable energy solutions that best fit their needs. We look forward to helping Gavilan College reduce energy costs over the long term, delivering more value over the system's useful life."
To learn more about solar for higher education, visit SunPower's webpage here.
With more than 30 years of proven experience, SunPower is a global leader in solar innovation and sustainability. Our unique approach emphasizes the seamless integration of advanced SunPower technologies, delivering The Power of One® complete solar solutions and lasting customer value. SunPower provides outstanding service and impressive electricity cost savings for residential, commercial and power plant customers. At SunPower, we are passionately committed to changing the way our world is powered. And as we continue shaping the future of Smart Energy, we are guided by our legacy of innovation, optimism, perseverance and integrity. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Since 2011, we've been majority-owned by Total, the fourth largest publicly-listed energy company in the world. For more information, visit www.sunpower.com.
About Stem, Inc.
Stem creates innovative technology services that transform the way energy is distributed and consumed. AthenaTM by Stem is the first AI for energy storage and virtual power plants. It optimizes the timing of energy use and facilitates consumers' participation in energy markets, yielding economic and societal benefits while decarbonizing the grid. The company's mission is to build and operate the smartest and largest digitally-connected energy storage network for our customers. Headquartered in Millbrae, California, Stem is funded by a consortium of leading investors including Angeleno Group, Iberdrola (Inversiones Financieras Perseo), GE Ventures, Constellation Technology Ventures, Total Energy Ventures, Mitsui & Co. LTD., RWE Supply & Trading, and Mithril Capital Management. Visit www.stem.com for more information.
About Gavilan College
Gavilan College is one of California's 114 community colleges, serving a 2,700- square-mile area from South San Jose through most of San Benito County. The main campus, with a park-like setting, is located in Gilroy, CA. Additional instructional sites are located in Coyote Valley, Morgan Hill, San Martin (Aviation Maintenance Technology), and Hollister. Gavilan College offers courses and programs that satisfy the transfer requirements of four-year colleges and universities; job skill and career training programs; Basic Skills and English as a Second Language (ESL); Noncredit and Community Education.