Off-Grid, Solar

L.A. Community College District Plans 1 MW of Solar Power to Go Off-Grid

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), the nation’s largest community college district, announced a plan to produce enough of its own electricity to take its nine campuses “off the power grid.” The initial plan is to build enough photovoltaic panels to produce one megawatt (1 MW) of electricity at each of its nine colleges.

The 1 MW per campus program is part of the LACCD’s Energy Strategy Plan that includes plans for a renewable energy Central Plant, performance conservation efficiency contracts, and a sustainability curriculum for its nine Los Angeles-area colleges. “Here in sunny southern California, we are meeting our responsibility to generate as much solar energy as possible, and continuing to maintain our leadership in pursuing sustainability practices in higher education,” said Larry Eisenberg, Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Development for the LACCD. “We believe that what today may seem futuristic can soon be commonplace.” Installation of the solar panels at the colleges — set to be completed in 2008 — is expected to cost between $7 and $9 million. A Request for Proposals will be issued within the next four weeks for the contracts to install solar panels at the nine campuses. As part of its commitment to energy education, the LACCD is creating a sustainable development curriculum that integrates classes, green building education and certificates along with displays such as learning solar station kiosks on each college campus.