County Dedicates 1.1 MW of New PV Power

Solar photovoltaic installations are becoming common sights on homes and industrial buildings. Alameda County in California dedicated 1.1 MW of recently installed solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays on Earth Day, which solidifies the Alameda’s position as the nation’s leader for solar deployments in a specific county, according to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Solar electric systems in the area provide 2.3 MW of power, which is enough to supply over 2,200 homes with electricity during the day. PowerLight Corporation, the nation’s leading manufacturer and installer of large-scale solar electric systems, built the 1.1 MW of projects that were dedicated on Earth Day. “We’re thrilled to be the nation’s leader in renewable energy,” said Keith Carson, who is the president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. “Alameda County’s overall electrical output from its solar arrays is enabling the County to meet 6 percent of its electrical needs at its facilities with clean, reliable solar power.” The County is on track to receive rebates from Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Self-Generation Incentive Program that will pay for half of the solar project costs. Alameda County’s first large-scale solar array at the Santa Rita Jail was installed in 2002. The array covers approximately three acres on the jail’s roof, and is the largest solar rooftop system in the United States, according to the county. Five rooftop systems and two solar tracking carport systems were commissioned by the county in March of 2004, and the systems added another 1.1 MW of power to the grid when it came online. “Alameda County installed photovoltaics because the economics are extremely compelling,” said Alameda County Energy Manager Matt Muniz. “Because the energy generation and cost savings from our system at Santa Rita Jail had exceeded expectations, we made the commitment to double our County’s solar deployments with these new projects.”
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