BP Solar Project Begins at Science Center

With the help of BP Solar, the Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana broke ground on the installation of 560 BP Solar panels, which are among most efficient solar PV modules on the market.

Santa Ana, California – April 23, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The newly installed solar system will supply 10 to 15 percent of the DSC’s electricity needs for a savings of more than US$20,000 annually. The new system will replace the south-facing side of the 4,225 square foot cube – the iconic structure that is highly visible and a well-known landmark to locals and commuters who travel Interstate 5 South through Santa Ana. Not only will the newly installed system provide electric power for the DSC, but also for surrounding businesses and homes. Any excess electricity generated by the system will flow directly into the region’s electric power grid for local customers. The DSC can in turn receive the benefits of net-metering legislation to help pay off the system. The 40 kW array will generate 77 thousand kWh of electricity each year, eliminating 84,283 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to planting approximately 14.5 acres of trees. “Powering the Discovery Science Center with solar is such a great fit for us,” said Joe Adams, chief operating officer of the DSC. “It’s practical and it’s scientific. The cost savings that will be realized from a reduced electricity bill will hopefully allow us to serve more people. Plus being powered by solar is good for the environment and it gives us a chance to explain solar technology to the public. Everyone benefits!” Installation of the solar panels at the DSC also launches a community partnership with New Vision Technologies (NVT), a firm specializing in energy auditing and engineering of commercial and residential properties. NVT was contracted to review the DSC’s solar structure and identify options for improving system efficiency. NVT has donated all planning, permitting, engineering and installation time while BP Solar has sold the panels at a significantly reduced price and has donated an interactive educational display on solar technology. Installation of the new solar panels will take approximately three weeks. “This is a win-win for the DSC and the community,” Brian Jacolick of NVT said. “The DSC will be able to reduce one of its largest operating costs – high monthly electric bills – and residents of Southern California can visit a tangible, ‘hands-on’ opportunity to learn about the many benefits of solar technology.”
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