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Santa Clara University Activates Solar Energy Installation
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 28, 2010 — Perpetual Energy Systems (Perpetual), a national power purchase agreement (PPA) provider/financier of solar-powered, renewable energy systems, and Santa Clara University has activated a 967.68 kilowatt solar energy system. The system complements SCU’s existing solar array and is projected to generate an estimated 1.42 million kW hours of clean energy in its first full year of operation. That’s enough electricity to power 129 average size American homes for an entire year.
The systems are located on the rooftops of the University’s Leavey Event Center, the Pat Malley Recreation Center, and the parking garage. This is SCU’s second solar installation phase. In 2007, the University installed a 50 kW system on its main facilities building. According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), SCU’s system is currently the 13th largest solar installation among colleges and universities in the U.S.
SCU entered into a PPA with Perpetual enabling SCU to host the solar installations without any capital outlay. Under the PPA, SCU will purchase clean solar energy produced by each installation at a predetermined, fixed rate. The system is owned, operated and will be maintained by Perpetual.
“SCU has been a champion of renewable energy, through its repeated participation in the biennial Solar Decathlon as well as its new renewable energy certificate for engineering graduate students. Adding a new solar energy system further exemplifies its leadership,” said Joseph Rodriguez, president and CEO of Perpetual. “Through Perpetual’s comprehensive PPA financing, we are helping institutions like SCU take advantage of clean and renewable energy solutions without any capital outlay.”
Perpetual combined conventional financing with federal energy tax incentives to fund the project. As owner, Perpetual retains the renewable energy certificates and environmental attributes generated by the system’s actual kilowatt hour output.
“This partnership with Perpetual marks a major step forward in fulfilling our energy strategy goals for clean, reliable, and cost effective energy,” said Joe Sugg, assistant vice president for University Operations. “Moreover, it is a strong visual statement of the University’s commitment to environmental justice.”
The system will eliminate approximately 23,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) throughout its operating lifespan. This reduction of CO2 in the environment is equivalent to reducing the use of 2,360,211 gallons of gasoline.
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