California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and SunPower Corp. have announced that construction is under way on a 4.8 MW SunPower Helix Carport solar power system at two university parking areas.
SunPower says CSULB will buy the energy generated by the system under a power purchase agreement that offers competitive rates, enabling the university to offset approximately 15% of campus electrical load with clean, renewable power.
“With the cost-competitive solar generated by our SunPower systems, the university will control electricity costs and reduce our carbon footprint, serving our goal to achieve climate-neutral operations by 2030,” says David Salazar, associate vice president at CSULB. “CSULB is proud to support California and the nation in our transition to clean and renewable energy sources to fight climate change and its negative effects on our students, staff and community by increasing our reliance on solar power.”
SunPower says its Helix platform is a fully integrated solar solution for commercial customers and is available for installation as a carport, on the roof, or as a ground-mounted technology. Since launching the product late last year, SunPower has contracted a total of 40 MW of Helix Carport to deliver to customers in the commercial and public sectors.
In addition to generating power, the solar carports at CSULB will provide the campus community needed shade and electric vehicle chargers with the capacity to charge 50 cars. All of the systems are expected to be operational by the end of next year. CSULB will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems. SunPower estimates that one year of solar energy produced by the CSULB system, once it is operational, could power more than 2,200 electric vehicles for 30 years.
CSULB already has three operating solar power systems on campus, but SunPower says this new system will be the largest solar project on campus and within the 23-campus CSU system to date.
Photo courtesy of SunPower: A 4.8 MW SunPower Helix Carport, similar to the one pictured, is now under construction at CSULB.