SunPower solar PV system switched on at HP facility in San Diego

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

SAN DIEGO–As blustery Santa Ana winds kicked up on a blue-sky Southern California day, officials from Hewlett-Packard, SunPower, GE Energy Financial Services, and local and state government dedicated a new 1.1-MW solar photovoltaic rooftop power system today at HP’s imaging and printing R&D facility in Rancho Bernardo.

The SunPower T10 solar roof tile commercial roof system is installed on five different HP rooftops, covering approximately 200,000 square feet of space, according to HP’s project manager, Kevin Cowen. HP decided to use Evergreen Solar 190- and 180-W panels rather than SunPower units for the system, he says, accepting lower per-module conversion efficiencies because of cost considerations and what he called a corporate edict to have “no out-of-pocket expenses” on the project. 

HP also kept costs down by entering into a power purchase agreement rather than acquire the system itself, choosing to buy competitively priced electricity from GE Financial Energy Services under its SunPower Access program. Under the terms of the deal, HP owns the renewable energy credits and green benefits of the system, which it may retire or sell.  

With a rated capacity of 1172-KW-peak and an expected annual energy production of 1,651,000 KW-hr, the nonpenetrating rooftop system will provide 10% of the facility’s power load, Cowen said. The installation team chose four Xantrex 250 inverters to help run the system. 

The system took about two months to install. Cowen said that PV panels and other components were lifted by crane onto the various rooftops for set-up over the course of six weekends, then the DC and AC wiring was laid in and the inverter spaces excavated and units installed near the various buildings.

During remarks at the dedication ceremony, SunPower CEO Tom Werner (shown in photo above on one of the rooftops) noted how the HP system is one of the biggest of its kind in San Diego County. He also mentioned a program that his company has started with HP, under which company employees can get SunPower PV systems put on their residences at reduced rates, noting that 600 HP workers have chosen to take advantage of the arrangement so far.

In an exclusive interview with PV-Tech at the event, Werner also commented on the impact of the recent extension of the eight-year investment tax credit on the US solar industry.

“At Sunpower, we call it the solar trifecta—it’s created three unique new markets for solar in America,” he said. “One is utilities, they weren’t in the last ITC, and that turns out to be huge. We announced two utility agreements this summer, one in San Luis Obispo with PG&E and one with Florida Power and Light.

“If you’re looking at the commercial market, it’s an eight-year market, so companies like HP that have multiple sites, they can plan it out over an eight-year horizon as they add solar to their sites.

“Then residential is uncapped at 30%, so now you have a nationwide program. For a company like SunPower located in the States, which serves all three markets, it’s just phenomenal.” 

— story and photos by Tom Cheyney

25 May 2022
Transforming the Canadian energy market. Solar & Storage Canada will focus on fostering and expanding the solar and energy storage market in Canada. Co-located with f-cell Canada.
9 June 2022
The proliferation of solar PV and other renewables is a cornerstone of the emerging new power system and, as a result, the solar industry has entered its fastest-growth period. This has become typified by surging demand for high-power PV modules that both produce more power and are more efficient than their predecessors. Providing a significant boost to power outputs, large-format modules have become a popular choice for customers the world over. Outdoor testing of modules is now providing empirical evidence of the benefits large-format modules produce, providing a crucial benchmark and invaluable data for customers to evaluate their module selection and procurement processes. In this PV Tech webinar, experts from TÜV Rheinland, CPVT and Trina Solar will discuss how to ensure science based and precision testing under field conditions, how empirical data is collected and analysed during TÜV Rheinland and CPVT’s outdoor testing, the empirical data behind a 670W module’s ultra-high power, and more.
14 June 2022
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2022 & 2023. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!
15 June 2022
Consumers are turning to residential renewables in significant numbers, driven by a desire to be environmentally conscious and a wave of high power prices. But turning green requires easy-to-use and, above all, safe technologies that meet expectations. Huawei is committed to building efficient, safe, reliable and grid-supporting smart PV plants that also provide smart services to consumers, and its Residential Solution has been tailored to meet consumer demand. This webinar will demonstrate the full suite of technologies offered within the Huawei Residential Solution, including a smart energy controller, smart AC charger, and AI-powered energy storage solution, and detail how it can place power back in the consumer’s hands.
19 July 2022
As New South Wales is gearing up to become a renewable energy superpower, an exciting clean energy event is coming to Sydney. Energy Next is a free-to-attend industry event focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy management technologies, which will be held from 19-20 July 2022 at the ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour. Organised by the same people behind the country’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will bring a quality exhibition and technical session series to NSW. Energy Next will also host the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Masterclass with a program developed for solar designers and installers. Across two days, Energy Next will provide an extensive exhibition, workshops and networking opportunities for those working in the renewable energy industry to meet with leading suppliers, discover the latest technologies and gain an understanding of how to successfully launch new clean energy projects.
23 August 2022
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 23–25, 2022, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry. In 2021 – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – Intersolar South America welcomed more than 28,000 visitors and over 1,000 conference attendees over 3 days. 200+ providers showcased their products. Combining local and international expertise, Intersolar South America brings together the PV and solar thermal sector to discuss the current status and strategic trends for Latin American PV markets, as well as technology innovations and new business opportunities. Overall, distributed generation is still driving momentum in the Brazilian market.

Read Next

May 24, 2022
French renewable energy company Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) has set up a new subsidiary that will focus on the development of solar installations in the Rhône valley area of France.
May 24, 2022
Nextracker will supply 1.5GW of its solar trackers to US independent power producer (IPP) Silicon Ranch as part of a new agreement between the companies.
May 24, 2022
Canadian Solar has unveiled a new PV manufacturing strategy, bringing more upstream capacity inhouse to reduce its exposure to pricing volatility.
May 24, 2022
South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group has said it will invest US$3.3 billion in solar and wind technology and intends to create a solar R&D hub in Korea as part of a massive investment strategy focused on several industrial areas.
May 24, 2022
Spanish renewables developer Grenergy is looking to expand its presence in Europe in five new markets in the wake of the continent's REPowerEU plan.
PV Tech Premium
May 24, 2022
PV Tech Premium spoke with the Clean Energy Associates at this month's Intersolar regarding their traceability protocol, what it expects from ongoing legal battles in the US and the problem with European module procurement.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA