$1 Million Solar Energy Incentive Granted

California and Los Angeles’ generous renewable energy rebate structures paid off recently for the installation of the largest community college solar-powered structure in the nation. The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) received an incentive totaling more than $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.

Los Angeles, California – March 1, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “The LACCD has made renewable power and sustainable building practices a priority as we undertake renovations on each of our campuses,” said Dr. Peter Landsberger, Chancellor of the LACCD. “I applaud Dr. Oliver and Pierce College for this achievement and I thank the LADWP for its generous support in making green building practices a reality on our campuses.” The incentive totaling $1,021,238.40 was presented to the LACCD as 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 newly installed solar electric system. The 191-kilowatt (kW) solar generation system features 1,274 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and is an innovative carport structure that enables Pierce College to generate much of its own clean power, while also providing shade and overhead protection from the elements for students’ vehicles. The new system is the largest community college solar-powered structure in the nation. “LADWP is proud to partner with the LACCD and Pierce College in harnessing the sun’s clean, renewable energy to provide power today and for years to come,” said LADWP Assistant General Manager of Environmental Affairs and Economic Development, Lillian Kawasaki. “We are excited about this partnership to help power one of the city’s leading academic institutions of higher learning.” Pierce College’s solar generation system is part of an extensive environmental program that was launched in November 2003. The college also has installed a 360-kW cogeneration system, comprised of 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. This is part of a cooperative environmental program between the LADWP and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “We are working hard to transform our college into an environmentally sound, clean campus,” said Dr. Tom Oliver, president of Pierce College. “Our solar system saves taxpayers money by making the campus more efficient and also enables us to direct our capital funds to other critical needs, such as education. This is a win-win situation for everyone.” The solar electric system and 10 microturbines will generate approximately 4.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to power 600 homes. The solar panels and microturbines will reduce Pierce College’s demand for purchased power during peak periods by about 25 percent. The environmental program is part of Pierce College’s 10-year master plan to transform the college into a 21st century gateway to opportunity that will better serve students and the communities within the San Fernando Valley that surround the campus. Other master plan improvements include the construction of new building, modernization of existing facilities and upgrades to campus infrastructure and grounds. The new construction, modernization and renovation projects are funded by Propositions A and AA, which were overwhelmingly approved by voters for improvements at all of the LACCD’s nine community colleges.
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