Rooftop, Solar, Utility Scale

PowerLight PV to Jail Roof

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has dedicated the nation’s largest rooftop solar electric system, located atop the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California.

OAKLAND, California – April 30, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, California, a manufacturer and installer of large-scale solar electric systems, installed the first solar array on the Santa Rita Jail during the summer of 2001. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system performed so well and yielded such significant savings that PowerLight was commissioned to increase the County’s initial solar generation system of 640 kW to 1.18 MW. Covering approximately three acres of the jail’s roof, this on-site solar system is the largest PV rooftop system in the United States. In addition, PowerLight worked with CMS Viron to integrate energy efficiency measures with the solar generation system to maximize energy savings. “Alameda County installed photovoltaics because the economics were so compelling,” said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, President of the Board of Supervisors. “Because our energy generation and cost savings were higher than projected, we decided to purchase additional solar generation from PowerLight.” “Since the 1970s, California has led the nation in developing new technologies for Renewable Energy sources as well as creating standards for energy efficiency,” said Energy Commission Chairman William Keese. “The simplicity and common sense of combining roofing materials with electricity generation is perfect for a state committed to balancing economic growth with environmental considerations.” “Clean kilowatt hours are too precious to waste,” said the California Power Authority’s Deputy Director of Conservation and Distributed Generation Jeanne Clinton. “By integrating on-site solar power generation with energy efficiency measures, Alameda County has demonstrated its leadership in defining both clean and cost-efficient energy solutions.” “We applaud Alameda County for their environmental stewardship by using clean on-site solar electric power and energy conservation,” said Tom Dinwoodie, CEO of PowerLight. “This project exemplifies how local governments can improve air quality while saving taxpayers’ dollars.” Alameda County’s solar powered installation, equivalent to powering 1,000 homes, spares the environment from thousands of tons of harmful emissions such as CO2, NOX, and SOX, which are major contributors to smog, acid rain and global warming. PowerLight’s patented PowerGuard® solar roof tiles insulate and protect the roof while generating clean solar electricity. For this project, PowerLight incorporated high-efficiency solar cells from AstroPower and BP Solar, a BP Group company. To date, the combined project has reduced the facility’s peak summer demand consumption of grid-generated electricity by 35 percent. Already, over 2.5 million kWh of annual electricity consumption are diverted from California’s electric grid by the Santa Rita Jail project. These savings benefit all state consumers by reducing grid power purchases, most of which occur during peak electrical demand hours – at times when state transmission lines are the most constrained.