Net Zero Community Being Built For College

The largest planned net zero energy development in the nation is about to be unveiled this fall on the campus of the University of California in Davis, California.

The UC Davis West Village is the product of a public-private partnership between the university and the West Village Community Partnership led by San Francisco-based Carmel Partners along with Urban Villages of Denver. A key feature in the development’s off grid profile will be its high-efficiency solar power system, designed to take advantage of the region’s sunny year-round climate.

image via UC Davis

This 4-megawatt solar power system will come courtesy of SunPower of San Jose, and will generate the equivalent of 100 percent of the electricity needed to house 4,500 people, including students, staff and faculty. (The system will sell power back to the grid when it’s producing more than the development can use, and purchase electricity from the grid at night.)

The photovoltaic system includes rooftop solar power installations and solar canopies over parking areas.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.