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Solar power project comes online

June 3, 2010

CSUMB taps sun for energy needs

The university has gotten greener.

Work on a solar power generation facility was completed in late June, thanks to a public-private partnership entered into in 2008.

The 6.4-acre solar panel array – consisting of approximately 3,900 panels – was installed at ground level on a vacant lot on the east side of Seventh Avenue, between Col. Durham Street and Butler Street. The plan was to complete the project before students returned to school in the fall.

"It's renewable energy, it's environmentally friendly and it reduces greenhouse gas emissions," said Mike Lerch, CSUMB's assistant director of energy.

In addition to financing and building the system, SunEdison, the nation's largest solar energy service provider, will operate and maintain it over the course of a 20-year contract. The university will purchase the power at a pre-agreed price.

The system is expected to generate almost 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year for CSUMB, enough to meet 16 percent of the university's current electricity needs. It will reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with electricity consumption by 713 metric tons per year, equivalent to the amount generated by 92 vechicles.

CSUMB is one of four CSU campuses scheduled to have solar equipment installed in 2010 to deliver zero-emission renewable energy directly to the campuses.

The map shows the area on the east side of Seventh Avenue, between Col. Durham Street and Butler Street, where the solar panel array is being installed.

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