Campus: CSU Hayward -- May 09, 2003
Cal State Hayward to Have Largest Solar Electric System
of Any University in the World
The largest solar electric system at any university in the world-and one of the
largest solar energy systems in the nation, according to PowerLight Corp. president
Dan Shugar-will be installed at California State University, Hayward this summer.
The project was authorized by the board of trustees of the California State
University system on March 12 and is awaiting additional internal campus approval.
The 1.05 megawatt solar electric system, built by Northern California-based
PowerLight, will provide a clean, reliable, cost-effective source of electricity,
leveraging the area's abundant sunlight, Shugar said. The on-site solar generation
system will deliver approximately 30 percent of the campus' peak electricity
demand during the summer months.
Cal State Hayward's solar system, covering over 110,000 square feet, will feature
both rooftop and ground-mounted installations, leveraging currently unused
assets--rooftops and land. The solar rooftop array will be installed on three of
the university's largest buildings, Physical Education, Music and Business and
Meiklejohn Hall. The ground-mounted solar tracking system, which captures up to
30 percent more energy than fixed systems by following the sun, will be installed
in an unused field. The $7.11 million project will generate roughly 1,450,000
kilowatt hours annually, producing enough electricity in the daytime to power more
than 1,000 homes. Construction is expected to be completed on the campus buildings
by July 2003. The cost of the new solar energy system to the university will be
approximately $3.55 million, which is being financed over 15 years through utility
savings from the project, according to Richard Metz, vice president, Administration
and Business Affairs. Another $3.55 million will be paid through a rebate from
the California Public Utilities Commission that will be provided to the university
through Pacific Gas and Electric.
"We're thrilled that solar power is being deployed at Cal State Hayward," said
Norma S. Rees, CSUH president. "With this solar electric installation, Cal State
Hayward will have a cost-effective, reliable, non-polluting system that we're told
will reduce our electricity bill by $200,000 annually, and contribute to the region's
overall environmental health. We hope to set an example for the entire CSU system,
as well as universities across the country."
There are 23 CSU campuses.
Solar energy will provide the university with operational flexibility, according
"It will enable us to generate our own power, especially during the summer months
when electricity prices are the highest and the grid is most constrained," Metz
said. "The system will give the university a hedge against the fluctuating costs
of energy and related supplies and will lower annual maintenance costs and increase
the life of the buildings."
"By investing in on-site solar generation, Cal State Hayward is effectively reducing
its purchases of expensive peak electricity and doing its part to address
California's ongoing energy challenges," said Shugar. "Cal State Hayward is helping
our nation reduce its reliance on foreign oil and increasing our energy security.
In addition to generating electricity, PowerLight's solar system provides thermal
insulation and protects the roof from weather and UV radiation. These benefits
result in decreased heating and cooling energy costs and extended roof life.
"By avoiding the purchase of fossil fuel generated electricity, CSUH's solar
electric system will spare the environment from thousands of tons of harmful
emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide-contributors
to smog, acid rain and global warming. Over the next 25 years, the solar-generated
electricity will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by nearly 8,700 tons. These
emissions reductions are equivalent to planting 2,450 acres trees or removing
1,700 cars from California's highways," Shugar said.
Cal State Hayward joins other organizations that have invested in large-scale,
on-site solar electrical systems. Other PowerLight customers in Northern California
include the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Contra Costa County's
administration building and correctional facility, San Mateo County Forensic Lab
and Coroner's Office, Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, Whole Foods
Market in Berkeley, and National Park Service facilities at Yosemite.
PowerLight builds and installs solar electric systems and complete energy solutions,
including roof-mounted, ground-mounted and carport solar systems for industrial,
commercial and government applications. It is based in Berkeley.
Media Contact: Kim Huggett, Director of Public Affairs, (510) 885-2032 or
Additional Media Contact: Susan DeVico, PR Manager, PowerLight Corp.
(415) 434-8220 or firstname.lastname@example.org