The board of trustees of Butte College, based in Oroville, Calif., has approved its Phase III solar project, which is expected to be completed by May 2011. This 2.7 MW project will utilize 14,000 Mitsubishi Electric solar modules to produce 3,482 MWh of energy annually.
This installation brings the college's total solar capacity to 4.55 MW. The solar panels will be installed by a joint venture between Chico Electric and DPR Construction, a designer and installer of commercial and residential solar systems in California. The modules will be installed on the ground and on rooftops that will create covered parking areas and walkways.
The total funding for the project is $17 million, $12.65 million of which will be funded by federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), and the remainder of which will be funded by the college. Butte College will receive almost $1 million in rebates from Pacific Gas & Electric, the California Solar Initiative and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/CREB allocations. The CREBs for the project were arranged and funded by Bank of America as part of its 10-year, $20 billion business initiative to address climate change.
"Once this solar project is completed, Butte College will provide enough clean renewable energy to cover all of our electricity needs and generate slightly more than we use – which will be a source of additional revenue for the college," says Diana Van Der Ploeg, president of Butte College.