Record Rebate for Solar PV System

Cal State Hayward boasts one of the largest solar electric systems in Northern California, and thanks to generous rebates and incentives mandated by the state, the school is benefiting from a record US$3.4 million rebate check from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Hayward, California – April 19, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] CSUH’s solar-electric system is estimated to generate 1.45 million kilowatt hours of electricity in a year – enough to serve 255 average homes. The rooftop systems are spread across four campus buildings. During peak periods, the system provides 30 percent of the university’s energy needs – saving about $200,000 a year in energy costs. Anlin Ting-Mason, PG&E’s vice president of business systems and energy programs, presented an oversized check to Cal State Hayward President Norma S. Rees at a ceremony overlooking the solar panels on the physical education building. The $3,443,388 rebate is the largest single solar rebate ever awarded by PG&E, exceeding the previous top rebate by more than $1 million. “The president, trustees and employees of Cal State Hayward have demonstrated an important lesson in the power of renewable energy and clean, on-site generation,” said Ting-Mason. “PG&E is proud to support this project that will provide environmental and financial benefit for decades.” Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s self-generation incentive program is providing the financial incentive, which covers up to half the cost of clean, on-site electric generating systems. The program allows utility customers installing on-site generation to obtain rebates to help offset the costs associated with either solar, wind, fuel cell, micro turbine or internal combustion engine cogeneration systems. “We’re thrilled that solar power is being deployed at Cal State Hayward,” said Rees. “With this solar electric installation, Cal State Hayward will have a cost-effective, reliable, non-polluting system that we’re told will reduce our electricity bill by $200,000 annually. We hope to set an example for the entire CSU system, as well as universities across the country.” Solar energy will provide the university with operational flexibility, according to Richard Metz, vice president, Administration and Business Affairs for Cal State Hayward. “Solar energy will enable us to generate our own power, especially during the summer months when electricity prices are the highest and the grid is most constrained,” Metz said. “The system will give the university a hedge against the fluctuating costs of energy and related supplies and will lower annual maintenance costs and increase the life of the buildings.” As with many of the California’s largest solar PV systems, the Berkeley-based PowerLight Corporation installed the system in Hayward. “By investing in on-site solar generation, Cal State Hayward is effectively reducing its purchases of expensive peak electricity and doing its part to address California’s ongoing energy challenges,” said PowerLight president Dan Shugar. “In addition to generating electricity, PowerLight’s solar system provides thermal insulation and protects the roof from weather and UV radiation. These benefits result in decreased heating and cooling energy costs and extended roof life.”

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