The installation of more than 3,000 solar panels at Cal State Northridge is expected to save the university more than US$50,000 annually in energy costs while at the same time contributing to a cleaner environment.Northridge, California – February 25, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] One of the largest solar electric installations at a public university in California, the US$1.8 million Photovoltaic Project was developed through a partnership with the university’s Physical Plant Management, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Gas Company and Shell Solar Industries. LADWP and The Gas Company officials will be presenting the university with incentive checks totaling more than US$1.6 million during a special ceremony to dedicate the new facility at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26. “For the past two decades, Northridge has been very active in seeking new and innovative technologies to reduce its energy bills,” said Mohammad Qayoumi, CSUN’s vice president of administration and finance. “This project is a good example of the university’s commitment to promoting environmentally friendly technologies, support energy conservation and reduce its energy costs.” The 3,024 Shell solar modules, which are doubling as shading in student parking lot E6 at the northern end of the campus off Halsted Street, can generate 75 watts of power each, producing a peak generating capacity of 225 kW. Much of this power will be generated exactly when it is needed most between 1 and 5 p.m. during summer months. The savings realized by the university will allow more funds to be directed to educational and student programs. The project has also provided a team of CSUN engineering students an opportunity to put to use the skills they have learned in the classroom. “It’s probably been the greatest opportunity I’ve had so far in school,” said Josh Gallo, a junior studying electrical engineering who served as the project manager. “I was able to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to a real world situation. In the classroom you deal with numbers and a lot of math, but working on this project I really learned what it takes to get something built and how to deal with all sorts of people.” In addition to saving energy, the use of the photovoltaic cells is also easing the campus’ impact on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, by using 225 kW of PV capacity, you reduce carbon emissions equal to the amount emitted by an average passenger car driving 722,181 miles. Chester Farris, senior vice president of Shell Solar said, the use of solar panels is a logical choice for the university. “Solar energy makes sense – Shell solar modules are warrantied for 25 years of pollution free power production and they are made right here in Los Angeles.” For the past two decades, Northridge has been very active in seeking new and innovative technologies to reduce its energy bills. This project is an example of the university’s commitment to promoting environmentally friendly technologies, support energy conservation and reduce its energy costs. Cal State Northridge is considered a leader in energy conservation among universities across the USA. It was hailed two years ago by the Clean Air Coalition for its use of alternative energy.