Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cañada Celebrates Solar Farm Completion

Originally published 2/2/15

Solar panels at Cañada College
On December 4th, 2014, the San Mateo County Community College District held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of Cañada College’s new photovoltaic installation. 

The $4.5 million solar project marks the first renewable energy effort undertaken by the District and will offset half of Cañada College’s energy consumption.  More than 4,000 highly efficient panels will produce over one million watts of clean,
renewable energy each year for more than 25 years.

The project, approved by the SMCCCD Board of Trustees in January 2014, includes installation of ground-mounted solar panels on a 3.5-acre site located adjacent to the school’s athletic fields and just above the Farm Hill Boulevard entrance to campus. Cañada College was chosen for the site because it has the greatest exposure to the sun year-round, is adjacent to existing electrical systems infrastructure and is the least visually obtrusive to neighbors.
Ideal project timing with Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, allocates revenue to local education agencies to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects and provided the District $554,000 in funding and the California Solar Initiative will provide about $870,000 in rebates over a five-year period.
While the solar farm was a large investment, it will benefit Cañada College, SMCCCD, and the atmosphere for the long haul. This ability to produce energy will cut Cañada’s energy bill in half for over 25 years and curb greenhouse gas emissions. With the cost of “on the grid” electricity rising, this is a smart financial move. Furthermore, beyond panel production, solar doesn’t require expensive raw materials like coal or oil. This means that solar farms, once built, have significantly lower operating costs than conventional power plants since their energy source, sunlight, is free. Solar energy does not emit any green house gases and leaves a smaller greenhouse gas footprint. 

Ribbon cutting ceremony
The ribbon cutting ceremony included District, County, City, and College personnel as well as many community and industry partners.

SMCCCD and Cañada College are committed to being responsible members of the community and doing their part to reduce their environmental impact. The District’s efforts are aligned with the nation and state initiatives to increase use of renewable energy. On November 5th, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown called for 50%
of the state’s power to come from renewable sources. In October through December of 2014, the US Department of Energy allocated over 100 million dollars towards driving solar innovation up and cutting cost of solar power down.

No comments:

Post a Comment