UC Merced installs second solar system on campus - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 26, 2017

California university installs 2nd solar project

Photo provided by the University of California.

In attempts to align with their sustainability goals, the University of California, Merced, is installing a 5-MW solar power system, which will be the university’s second system on campus.

The university’s “Triple Zero Commitment” includes an initiative toward net zero energy use, net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste by the year 2020. The 5-MW system, which will feature a carport-and-rooftop installation, will be complemented by a 500-kW energy storage project.

The university partnered with SunPower Corp. for that solar installation and Stem for the energy storage project.

According to UC Merced’s sustainability website, its goals include using 100% renewable energy at their facilities. The new system is expected to “generate clean electricity equal to removing approximately 30,000 cars from the road every year for 25 years,” according to the press release.

“UC Merced is a sustainability leader in higher education, and we are committed to supporting economic, socially responsible and environmentally conscious initiatives,” said Colleen McCormick, the university's director of sustainability, in a statement.

UC Merced installed a 1-MWground-mounted tracker system through SunPower in 2009. Combined with the new 5-MWsystem, the two are expected to begin supplying 50% of the university's power. 

Other branches of the University of California have been installing solar power systems, 70% of which have been supplied by SunPower at campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Riverside and Santa Barbara. 

In April, the EPA released a report of the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership. The University of California was placed at number nine, while the University of Tennessee, Knoxville was placed at number one.

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