SunPower builds 4 MW of solar projects at Cal State Fullerton

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) announced that construction is underway on a 4-MW solar power system at three university parking areas.

CSUF will purchase the emission-free solar power generated by the system under a power purchase agreement that offers competitive rates, enabling the university to offset over one-third of its peak electrical load, potentially saving millions in electricity costs over almost 20 years.

“With the cost-competitive solar power generated by our SunPower systems, the university will control electricity costs and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Willem van der Pol, interim associate vice president for facilities management at CSUF, in a June 28 statement. “SunPower’s experience partnering with universities is as important to us as the proven high performance of its technology.”

SunPower is constructing solar carports on two parking structures and a parking lot. At all three sites, SunPower will install high efficiency SunPower direct current solar panels. All of the systems are expected to be operational by the end of this year.

“Cal State Fullerton can rely on these SunPower systems to deliver exceptional long term value,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “SunPower has extensive experience working with universities and colleges to deliver innovative solar solutions. It is extremely rewarding to enable our higher education institutions to achieve significant operational savings while inspiring students with the great potential of solar power.”

CSUF will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.

This project is the latest in a 20-year-plus history of CSUF instituting efficient and sustainable practices. The campus installed its first 1-MW solar system in 2012. It regularly upgrades its lighting efficiency, installed low-flow fixtures and irrigation meters, has constructed LEED-certified buildings, operates a tri-generation plant and, in response to California’s drought, installed bio-swales to retain rainwater and replaced turf with drought-tolerant plants throughout the campus.

CSUF, a leading institution of the 23-campus California State University system, enrolls more than 38,000 students and offers 109 degree programs. An intellectual and cultural center for Orange County, it is a primary driver of workforce and economic development throughout the region.

SunPower provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.