LACEY, Wash.Applied Power Corp. recently completed the installation of a 22 kW solar electric system for the City of Colton Electric Utility (CEU) in Colton, California. The solar power system is integrated into a 120-foot long carport structure that provides shade for parked vehicles at the City’s Public Works Administration Building. Applied Power designed the system and structure, and provided equipment, project management and data acquisition hardware. The on-site installation was performed by Applied Power’s local contractor, Renewable Energy Concepts of San Luis Obispo.
CEU selected Applied Power to supply the photovoltaic system as part of their long-term efforts to utilize renewable energy. The solar power system will supply electricity to the grid during peak energy use periods. The carport structure also provides shade and protection of vehicles, allowing the space to have a dual use. The carport project is intended to also serve to educate local community businesses and groups about the benefits of solar power.
“We believe that solar energy will play an increasingly important role for the utility in the coming years,” said Gerald Katz, project manager for the City. “The Colton Electric Utility sees renewable power to be increasingly effective and viable. We are looking to expand on the success of this project and have been very pleased with Applied Power’s performance and the system.”
The photovoltaic system consists of 288 Siemens Solar SR-100 modules. The solar array converts sunlight into direct current electricity, which is converted to utility quality AC power by a Trace Technologies 22 kW inverter. The inverter controls the array to optimize the energy output and also includes protective shutdown features. The carport structure orients the array at a suitable tilt and elevates the array to provide parking space for 14 vehicles.