Irvine, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] University of California Irvine (UCI) is now adding solar power to its list of sustainability initiatives. A newly approved, 20-year agreement with Chicago-based UPC Solar will locate a 1.17-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system on campus rooftops. UPC Solar will design, install, own and maintain 6,500 solar panels to be placed on 11 campus buildings.
UCI will purchase power from UPC, especially during peak demand periods when the cost of electricity is high. There is no net change in electricity costs to UCI. Kiosks located around the campus will monitor the system and provide ready information to passersby about how much energy is being generated and carbon offset.
“We’ve been working on acquiring solar power at UC Irvine for more than two years,” said Wendell C. Brase, vice chancellor of Administrative & Business Services for UCI. “This contract allows us to harness solar-powered electricity with no capital outlay by the campus. And UCI will be among the first to help the UC system reach its goal of providing 10 megawatts of local renewable power by 2014.”