Solar Briefing: Hershey, Arizona Western, McCormick
Arizona Western College (AWC) in Yuma, Ariz., is the site of a 5 MW solar project expected to meet 100 percent of the college‚Äôs daytime electrical demand. The project comprises five one-megawatt sites across the campus. The utility-scale project has an estimated cost of more than $25 million but will deliver $40 million in cost savings over the thirty-year term of the power purchase agreement, the college said.
The technologies include concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology from SolFocus (including their dual-axis trackers) and GreenVolts (a fully integrated system including two-axis trackers and inverters); thin film panels from Sharp Solar; monocrystalline panels from Solar World; polycrystalline panels from Suntech, and single-axis trackers from O Solar. The tracking systems allow the panels to continually track the movement of the sun in order to maximize electricity generation, the college said.
The project is a major cooperative effort, involving solar financier Main Street Power Company Inc., developer PPA Partners, local utility Arizona Public Service (APS), and EPC Rosendin Electric. ‚ÄúWe know of no other solar project where all five technologies are showcased at utility scale, installed by the same group, at the same time with the same equipment, tracked and optimized, and under the best solar resource in the country. The data generated by the project should be very interesting,‚ÄĚ PPA Partners CEO Bruce Mercy said.
Vireo Energy Financial Services arranged for financing for the project through Main Street Power and Morgan Stanley.
The Hershey Company has activated 1,092 photovoltaic panels at the Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction in Pennsylvania. The company has also installed 182 panels on the roof of its technical center a few miles away. Together, the two solar arrays are expected to generate about 318 MWh per year.
The City of Waltham, Mass., will save an estimated $4.5 million on utility costs over the next 20 years, with a renewable energy project developed by Massachusetts-based Ameresco. The project calls for solar installations on seven schools and five municipal buildings. The city received $630,500 in project financing from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the installations on the municipal buildings.
Ameresco will design, finance, install, own, and operate the solar installations, which are expected to generate approximately 1,850 kW when operational, and produce more than 2.3 million kWh in the first year. The project is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 16,457 tons over 20 years, according to Ameresco.
The project includes a software package that will collect the rooftop weather and solar PV data for science classrooms, the company said.
Envision Solar International, a sustainable infrastructure designer and developer, has completed the installation of a 300kW shaded parking solar array for a commercial property site owned by engineering firm, Morrow Meadows, in Arizona. The array will provide shaded parking to tenants while generating solar energy. Savings from the reduced electricity bill will be stored in a hedge fund for future energy cost increases, according to Envision Solar.
Carmanah Technologies Corp. has announced a $400,000 project with the U.S. federal government using the company’s EverGEN 1710 solar powered light. The lighting will be installed at a federal government parking lot facility in the Midwest, and it is the second parking-lot installation deal for Carmanah and the unnamed government agency. The installation took advantage of the Advanced Occupancy Sensing (AOS) feature of the EverGEN 1710 which maximizes lumen output potential for this geographic area.
Plastic-tubing manufacturer NewAge Industries has installed a $4.2 million 1 MW rooftop photovoltaic array from Borrego Solar Systems, which consists of 4,082 panels. About half of the financing comes from state and federal subsidies, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Southampton, Penn.-based factory said that its annual energy bill is about $300,000. NewAge calculates a return on the$2 million investment in about 6-1/2 years, the article said.
Seasonings manufacturer McCormick & Co. has installed a 1.8 MW solar system at its 363,000-square-foot distribution center in Belcamp, Md. The project is the second solar installation completed in conjunction with utility Constellation Energy.
McCormick’s Belcamp solar power system uses 7,491 roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels. It is expected to generate about 2.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and offset approximately 75 percent of the facility’s annual electricity consumption, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,600 metric tons. The manufacturer expects to save an estimated $3 million in electricity costs over the term of the 20-year power purchase agreement, reports Constellation Energy.
Correction: A previous version of this story described Ameresco as being based in Delaware. The company was incorporated in Delaware in 2000, but is headquartered in Massachusetts.
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