Construction has begun at California State University (CSU), Fresno, on a solar panel-topped parking structure system being built by Chevron Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Chevron. According to the company, the project will be the largest of its kind at any university in the U.S.
Photovoltaic panels will be installed atop 10 metal shelters that will shade more than 700 parking spaces from the San Joaquin Valley sun, producing 1 MW of energy – the equivalence of 20% of the university's base demand. Chevron Energy says the work will be done in phases to minimize the impact of parking lot closings on students.
The project is part of the California State University system's commitment to green programs, sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental education. CSU trustees recently revised the 23-campus system's energy policy with a goal of reducing consumption by 15%, following a 10% reduction from 1999/2000 through 2005.