A 5MW solar installation at Arizona Western College (AWC) was officially commissioned today as representatives from Main Street Power Company, MS Solar Solutions, PPA Partners, Arizona Public Service and Rosendin Electric joined Governor Jan Brewer at the 23-acre site. Main Street Power will own and operate the system as part of its long-term financing program with MS Solar Solutions. The 5MW project includes demonstration systems for each technology used with access available to students and researchers.

"As a college that has worked to develop a strong science program, with facilities and scholarships that are the envy of the state, we are thrilled to integrate solar technology into our curriculum and our sustainability plan," stated AWC president Dr. Glenn Mayle. "This installation creates significant savings and revenue potential for the district that is rare for colleges our size."

Five different 1MW PV technologies were used to develop the solar project, which will provide 100% of AWC’s daytime electricity needs. The project includes CPV systems with dual-axis trackers from SolFocus and GreenVolts, thin-film panels from Sharp Solar, monocrystalline panels from SolarWorld, polycrystalline panels from Suntech and single-axis trackers from SunEdison. Inverters with solstice combiners were supplied by SatCon while power generation monitoring and data management are supplied by Also Energy.

The system is expected to produce 10,500,000kWh of solar electricity per year with an anticipated return of US$62 million to the college in cost savings and other revenues from its 30-year PPA with Main Street Power.