The Solar Gateway Project – a combined effort from full-service construction company Gilbane Co. and solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corp. – is underway to build a 1.1MW solar power system at California-based West Valley College campus. With SunPower's high-efficiency solar panels, the system will generate approximately one-third of West Valley College's electricity demand and save more than US$9 million.
“We take great pride in the grand opening of this solar installation, celebrating our commitment to stewardship and sustainability. The Solar Gateway signifies the genuine focus we have on integrating green and sustainable practices throughout our West Valley campus,” stated Dr. Lori Gaskin, West Valley College President.
Completed in two-and-a-half months, the solar system features a three-acre elevated solar canopy structure with nearly 2,640 SunPower E19 / 425 solar panels that generate emission-free solar power, reducing the campus' energy costs and providing premium shading for parked vehicles.
“Community colleges, universities and K-12 schools across California are wisely utilizing financing mechanisms available to the educational sector to deliver clean energy to their campuses, while reducing long-term operational costs,” said SunPower Managing Director Bill Kelly.
During the 2011 to 2012 school year, SunPower is actively installing solar power systems at over 90 school facilities in California. SunPower has built solar power systems for California community colleges including Bakersfield College, Mendocino College, Napa Valley College, Ohlone College, the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District, and the Los Angeles Community College District. The company has more than 750 large solar power systems in operation or under contract globally.