California College Wins Rebate for PV Scheme

The Los Angeles Community College District has received an incentive worth more than US$1 million from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) for an innovative solar generation system that was recently installed at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California, US.

The incentive was part of the LADWP's Solar Incentive Program, which is currently fully subscribed. Pierce College received the incentive as a rebate to subsidize the cost of its solar electric system.

The 191 kW solar generation system features 1274 photovoltaic solar panels installed on an innovative carport structure. It enables Pierce College to generate much of its own clean power, while also providing shade for students' vehicles.

The College's solar generation system is part of an extensive environmental programme that was launched in November 2003. The college also has installed a 360 kW cogeneration system, comprising six microturbines, which generates electricity for the campus and recovers waste heat energy that is used to chill water for the college air conditioning system.

In addition, four 30 kW microturbines have been connected to a heat recovery system that is being used to heat the college's outdoor pool and enhance the efficiency of the microturbine system.

The solar electric system and 10 microturbines will generate approximately 4.4 GWh of electricity a year. The solar panels and microturbines will reduce Pierce College's demand for purchased power during peak periods by about 25%.


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Two Californian vineyards are now relying on sunshine for more than its power to ripen grapes. A 766 kW solar photovoltaic system, built by US-based PowerLight Corporation and covering 6000 m 2 of roof space at Rodney Strong Vineyard's barrelhouse, recently began providing a significant portion of the winery's power needs. The system went on-line earlier this year.

PowerLight is now completing the installation of a similar, 457 kW system for St Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, California. Vineyards may be particularly appropriate for solar power applications due to their customary flat-roofed storage areas and sunny locations, suggests the company.

PowerLight is also responsible for installing the largest city-owned solar installation in the US, a similar 6000 m2 flat roof installation on San Francisco's Moscone Center. Installation of the 675 kW system was completed in March. In addition to the solar array, the Moscone Center installed new building controls and energy-efficient lighting to control energy use.


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