Chevron Energy Solutions and the Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) have completed the first phase of the largest solar power installation ever constructed for an institution of higher learning in North America. The project is the highlight of a multi-facility energy efficiency and solar program that is expected to save CCCCD more than $70 million over 25 years.
The energy infrastructure upgrades – designed, engineered and constructed by Chevron Energy Solutions – include a 3.2 MW solar power generation system comprising photovoltaic panels mounted on 34 parking canopies in six parking lots at Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College.
The project's first phase, at 2.65 MW, is completed. The final phase will add 534 kW later this year. The solar installation is expected to generate about 4 million kWh of power each year, supplying up to half of CCCCD's peak electricity needs.
‘This project has shown that energy efficiency and renewable power together can bring substantial benefits for education and the environment,’ says Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. ‘We're delighted to partner with the district on a project that's raised the bar in sustainable energy development.’
The total $35.2 million project cost is being offset by about $8.5 million in rebates and other incentives administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company under California's Solar Initiative, Self-Generation Incentive Program and Community College Partnership Program. The net amount of $26.7 million, supported by Measure A bond funds, will be recovered over time by the annual cost savings achieved as a result of the new systems.