Facing budget shortfalls and increased operating costs, many institutions of higher learning are embracing the cost-effective benefits of renewable energy. National University, one of California’s largest private, nonprofit colleges, recently announced the completion of optimized rooftop and carport solar power systems at two of its campuses in San Diego that are expected to generate more than 1.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually.
With the help of SPG Solar, a national solar energy company, the university completed two rooftop solar installations at the Spectrum Business Park Campus and a solar carport system spanning three parking locations at the Technology and Health Sciences Center in Kearny Mesa.
“These systems will not only reduce the equivalent of approximately 1,000 tons of pollutants annually, but they also have supported the development of sustainability management curriculum in our School of Engineering, Technology and Media,” said Richard Carter, vice chancellor of business operations for the National University system.
With over 3,000 solar panels, the rooftop and carport systems are expected to produce enough electricity to power 127 average American homes annually. The energy produced from these systems will provide up to 85 percent of the electricity at the Technology and Health Sciences Center and 35 percent of the electricity at the Spectrum Business Park Campus. As an additional benefit, National University will enjoy savings of more than $1.6 million over the next 20 years.
The solar power system was made possible through a solar power purchase agreement, arranged by SPG Solar and owned by an indirect subsidiary of Integrys Energy Services. The agreement is structured so that the university pays no upfront capital costs (for the win!).