Although the official ceremony to celebrate the installation of the 1.1MW solar energy system installed by Perpetual Energy Systems at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) won’t take place until the end of October, both organizations are celebrating not only the systems completion, but Caltech’s solar milestone. With this installation, Caltech has reached its goal to install 1.3MW of solar power by 2010 and will benefit from 1,646,668kWh of renewable energy in one year from the new system alone.
The solar project has been installed on seven different structures on the Caltech campus using over 4,500 solar panels. The Cahill Center, which has 26.88kW of installed solar energy, is also Caltech’s first building to be USGBC LEED gold-level certified.
“Caltech is making great strides toward ‘greening’ its entire campus and Perpetual is honored to have helped it reach its solar energy production goals for 2010 through this installation,” said Joseph Rodriguez, president and CEO of Perpetual. “This project was unique as it included two parking structures on which we used a ‘space frame’ design as the mounting system for the solar arrays and panels on the rooftops of several very notable Caltech buildings.”
Perpetual signed a PPA with the University allowing it to house the solar installation with no capital outlay and purchase the energy produced by each installation at a predetermined fixed rate. The system itself is owned, operated and maintained by Perpetual who used a combination of federal energy tax incentives and standard financing for the project’s funding.