Campus: CSU Northridge -- February 26, 2003
Solar Electric System to Power CSUN
The installation of more than 3,000 solar panels at Cal State Northridge
is expected to save the university more than $50,000 annually in energy
costs while at the same time contributing to a cleaner environment.
One of the largest solar electric installations at a public university
in California, the $1.8 million Photovoltaic Project was developed through
a partnership with the university's Physical Plant Management, Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Gas Company
and Shell Solar Industries.
LADWP and The Gas Company officials will present the university with
incentive checks totaling more than $1.6 million during a special ceremony
to dedicate the new facility today.
"For the past two decades, Northridge has been very active in seeking
new and innovative technologies to reduce its energy bills," said
Mohammad Qayoumi, CSUN's vice president of administration and finance.
"This project is a good example of the university's commitment
to promoting environmentally friendly technologies, support energy conservation
and reduce its energy costs.
"Moreover, the project represents an excellent example of the collaborative
work between academic and administrative divisions of the university,
namely our College of Engineering and Computer Science and Physical
Plant Management, as well as a model partnership between LADWP, Southern
California Gas Company, Shell Solar Industries and CSUN."
The 3,024 Shell solar modules, which are doubling as shading in student
parking lot E6 at the northern end of the campus off Halsted Street,
can generate 75 watts of power each, producing a peak generating capacity
of 225 kilowatts. Much of this power will be generated exactly when
it is needed most between 1 and 5 p.m. during summer months.
Photovoltaic cells in the panels absorb the sun's rays, creating direct
current power that is directed to a substation where it is converted
to alternating power. It is then increased to 4,160 volts of energy
and fed into a power grid that distributes electricity throughout the
campus. In addition to saving energy, the use of the photovoltaic cells
is also easing the campus' impact on the environment. According to the
Environmental Protection Agency, by using 225 kilowatts of photovoltaic
capacity, you reduce carbon emissions equal to the amount emitted by
an average passenger car driving 722,181 miles.
Chester Farris, senior vice president of Shell Solar said, the use of
solar panels is a logical choice for the university.
"Solar energy makes sense — Shell solar modules are warrantied
for 25 years of pollution free power production and they are made right
here in Los Angeles," Farris said. Angelina Galiteva, LADWP executive
director of Green LA programs, said, "The installation of this
newest solar system marks another step toward a cleaner environment
in Los Angeles.”
“LADWP’s solar incentives allow Los Angeles businesses,
centers of education and residents alike to cost effectively tap into
the sun as a clean, renewable power source. The savings realized by
the university will allow more funds to be directed to educational and
student programs,” Galiteva said.
Through the statewide Self-Generation Incentive Program, Southern California
Gas Co. will award up to $54 million in incentives over the next three
years to its business customers, which will generate 50,000-60,000 kilowatts
of power. Launched in 2001 by the California Public Utilities Commission
(CPUC), the program pays qualifying businesses up to 50 percent of the
costs of installing electricity generation systems.
"The Self-Generation Incentive Program makes the purchase and installation
of eligible technologies more affordable than ever, which helps our
customers become more energy-sufficient and self-reliant," said
Richard M. Morrow, vice president of customer services, major markets
for Sempra Energy Utilities—The Gas Company and San Diego Gas
The project has also provided a team of CSUN engineering students an
opportunity to put to use the skills they have learned in the classroom.
"It's probably been the greatest opportunity I've had so far in
school," said Josh Gallo, a junior studying electrical engineering
who served as the project manager. "I was able to apply what I've
learned in the classroom to a real world situation. In the classroom
you deal with numbers and a lot of math, but working on this project
I really learned what it takes to get something built and how to deal
with all sorts of people."
Cal State Northridge is considered a leader in energy conservation among
universities across the country. CSUN was hailed two years ago by the
Clean Air Coalition for its use of alternative energy.
In 2001, the campus installed six microturbines through a partnership
with the South Coast Air Quality District and LADWP, as a way to save
energy and reduce its reliance on the state's fragile electrical grid.
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler (818) 677-2130, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shell Solar makes, markets and sells photovoltaic cells and modules.
It is one of the world's largest companies in this fast growing market.
For information about Shell Solar, visit their Web site at www.shell.com/solar.
(Photographs of the installation at CSUN are available upon request.
Contact Tina Nickerson at (805) 388-6519.)
Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) is the nation's largest
natural gas distribution utility, serving 18 million customers through
5.1 million meters. The company's service territory encompasses 23,000
square miles in most of central and Southern California. The Gas Company
is part of Sempra Energy Utilities, the umbrella for Sempra Energy's
regulated business units. Sempra Energy is a Fortune 500 energy services
holding company based in San Diego. For information about The Gas Company's
Self Generation Incentive Program, visit their Web site at www.socalgas.com/business/selfgen.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation's largest
city-owned utility, serves more than 3.8 million people in a 465-square-mile
service area. LADWP is celebrating its century of service providing
water and electric needs to the city's residents and businesses.
LADWP has assisted with a number of solar power system installations
at such well-known businesses as Whole Foods Market, Helms Bakery and
Neutrogena. The Solar Incentive Program offers rebates of $4.50 per
watt, or $6 per watt if the system is manufactured in the City of Los
Angeles. The Solar Incentive Program is part of LADWP’s Green
LA programs, which also include: Green Power - purchasing new renewable
clean energy; Energy Efficiency - offering rebates for the purchase
of energy-efficient appliances; Trees for a Green LA – sponsoring
workshops for residential customers who then may receive up to seven
shade trees; Electric Transportation - teaching customers about the
benefits of nearly pollution-free driving; and Cool Schools - providing
shade trees and instruction to students while lowering campus energy
costs. Further information about the solar and other Green LA programs
is available by visiting www.GreenLA.com or calling 1-800-GreenLA.
California State University, Northridge has more than 32,000 full-
and part-time students and offers 59 bachelor's and 41 master's degrees
as well as 28 education credential programs. Founded in 1958, it is
the only four-year university in the San Fernando Valley and the fourth
largest in the 23-campus CSU system. The Western Association of Schools
and Colleges recently said CSUN "stands as a model to other public
urban institutions of higher education."