The first commercial solar electric system in San Jose will be installed on a union headquarters in the downtown core.
SAN JOSE, California, US, 2001.03.15 <SolarAccess.com> Local 332 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has commissioned PowerLight to install a 23 kW photovoltaic array at IBEW’s new headquarters. IBEW will use the building as a training facility for its members who are interested in learning solar system installation techniques. IBEW expects to commission additional solar installations on their buildings in the near future. “IBEW’s deployment of solar power at it new San Jose headquarters illustrates that our organization is very committed to a responsible approach to energy efficiency,” says union official Jay James. “By deploying solar, we’ll lower costs, reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.” “Our building will be a showcase for the reliable, affordable and clean energy benefits of solar,” he adds. “And as solar power is increasingly adopted, our facility will let us educate our members about solar electricity opportunities and installation practices.” The new headquarters has been designated a ‘green building’ model by San Jose and City Council. It will serve as a showcase illustrating environmentally responsible technologies that can be incorporated into future construction projects, as well as retrofits to existing buildings. “IBEW’s headquarters will serve as a model of energy efficiency and on-site electricity generation — a cornerstone of San Jose’s aggressive efforts to reduce energy consumption and stabilize future energy costs,” says mayor Ron Gonzales. “This project is very consistent with our principal energy management goal, which is to develop practical strategies to achieve a more reliable energy system and greater energy self-sufficiency for our entire region. San Jose, in close partnership with our creative and entrepreneurial business community, is working very hard to achieve long-lasting energy reliability with smart energy solutions like this one, solutions that balance supply, conservation, and protection of neighborhoods.” The 200 solar roofing tiles will be installed later this month and will generate 30,000 kWh per year for three decades. The system will reduce heating and air conditioning costs through PowerGuard’s roof-insulating properties, which double the lifetime of the roof. “IBEW believes the solar industry will generate more and better paying jobs in California,” explains George Ingham of the National Photovoltaic Construction Standards & Certification Partnership (NPCSCP) that is guiding the IBEW through the solar deployment process. “Greater energy awareness and customer interest in alternative generation is allowing the IBEW to train its members on the installation and maintenance of PV systems, and to do so in a safe manner.” “Soon, we’ll see many more IBEW facilities deploying solar power as electricians and others become increasingly familiar with this smart approach to energy generation,” he predicts. “The IBEW and San Jose are demonstrating true leadership and genuine commitment to sustainable energy by encouraging local businesses and organizations to embrace clean, reliable and affordable solar power,” says PowerLight CEO Tom Dinwoodie. “When all the participants to the process work in collaboration, it’s a win-win for everyone.” Recent customers that have deployed PowerLight’s solar panels include Neutrogena (a Johnson & Johnson company) and Alameda County in California. The company claims to be the largest designer, manufacturer and installer of grid-connected commercial solar electric systems in the United States.