C&I, Rooftop, Solar

Largest U.S. Rooftop PV System Nears Completion

The installation of 4,000 solar electric tiles is almost complete in the largest roof-mounted solar array in the United States.

BERKELEY, California, US, 2001-06-13 [SolarAccess.com] The installation of 4,000 solar electric tiles is almost complete in the largest roof-mounted solar array in the United States. Santa Rita Jail in California’s Alameda County is installing the 500 kilowatt system to generate 650,000 kWh a year of green power. The solar system is partially operating and will be completed by late July. “Over the past several years, Alameda County has reduced electricity use by more than 30 percent, and we save more than $4 million every year by doing so,” says Scott Haggerty, president of the Board of Supervisors. “We are extremely committed to adopting smart, innovative technologies to reduce our energy consumption and save taxpayer dollars. Deploying solar power and making county facilities more energy efficient are key components of our overall energy strategy.” The system was toured this week by supervisors and the county’s General Services Agency. The solar array was designed, manufactured and installed by PowerLight Corp. of Berkeley, while a number of energy efficiency projects were completed by CMS Viron to help the County achieve its goals of reducing consumption and stabilizing future energy costs. “We estimate that Alameda County will save millions of dollars in electricity costs as a result of adopting solar power,” says local GSA director Aki Nakao. “By installing PowerLight’s PowerGuard system at the Santa Rita Jail, we are taking an important step to reduce costs, reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.” The jail is the first of many anticipated solar installations on buildings in the County. The panels will significantly reduce the facility’s monthly electric bill by displacing utility electricity and the resulting pollution with on-site solar power. The overall need for electricity will be dramatically reduced through a combination of added insulation from the solar roof tiles and a comprehensive upgrade to the jail’s central plant, including cooling equipment and controls. “It’s great to be part of a project that’s environmentally friendly and saves taxpayers money,” says PowerLight president and CEO Tom Dinwoodie. “When it’s completed, the Santa Rita project will be the largest rooftop solar electric installation in the United States.” “As energy becomes increasingly expensive, other public agencies will follow Alameda County’s lead and perform energy efficiency upgrades to help manage costs and revitalize aging facilities,” adds John Mahoney, president of CMS Viron Energy Services. PowerLight and CMS Viron will install energy management systems to verify and monitor the project’s expected performance. The equipment will include 20 year warranties. PowerLight designs, manufactures and installs grid-connected commercial solar electric products and systems. It was formed in 1991. CMS Viron Energy Services is a $15 billion engineering company that specializing in energy performance contracting and turnkey energy projects.