It’s great to see the energy potential of roof-tops in sunny spaces getting put to use across the nation. Recently we learned of a big roof-top solar thermal install atop a convention center in St. Paul, and saw the roofs of public buildings in Tucson, Arizona getting fitted with solar panels to provide electricity for their neighborhoods. Now comes word that the roof of a 900-car parking structure at Long Beach City College in California is being put to use to help sustain the parking structure and the buildings around it.
The top of the parking structure has been outfitted with 400-kilowatts worth of solar panels. The system was installed to fully-power security lights, elevators, four emergency phones on each level and the garage’s fire protection systems. Any excess power that gets generated will be fed to neighboring buildings on campus.
The roof-top solar project used 2,100 SANYO HIT Power panels that the manufacturer claims offer a cell efficiency of 19.3% and a module efficiency of 17.1%. The system is the second largest system in the City of Long Beach and the largest in the city so far for the California Solar Initiative.
According to Sanyo, the solar system is expected to produce approximately 59,000 kW hours a month which, in addition to sustaining the parking structure’s power needs, should offset approximately 9% of adjacent buildings’ overall electricity needs. It should also reduce the college’s total annual electric bill and CO2 emissions by a decent amount.