One Megawatt Solar Tracking System At UC Merced

SunPower has completed a 1-megawatt solar power system on the University of California, Merced campus. The university expects the system, which SunPower will finance with Wells Fargo through a sale leaseback transaction, to produce two-thirds of the campus’ electricity on summer afternoons, and 20 percent of its annual electricity needs.

“The solar array project exemplifies UC Merced’s founding vision to become an international model for sustainable development and environmental stewardship,” said Mary Miller, vice chancellor for administration at UC Merced.

The system utilizes SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, with the SunPower T20 Tracker system. The T20 Tracker follows the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 30 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

“Colleges and universities in California are seizing the opportunity to help the state meet its growing energy demand and renewable energy goals,” said Bill Kelly, managing director, at SunPower. “UC Merced understands the significant return on investment that SunPower systems deliver, and the added value of working with an experienced partner.”

According to conversion formulas provided by The Climate Registry, the system is expected to remove more than 45 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years. That is equivalent to the emissions displaced from removing more than 3,600 cars from California’s roads. Under the terms of a long-term power purchase agreement, UC Merced will be entitled to the renewable energy credits and all environmental attributes associated with the system.

SunPower has more than 550 solar power systems in operation or under contract globally. Other California colleges and universities the company has built solar power systems for include California State-East Bay, Napa Valley College, Ohlone College, Mendocino College and the Los Angeles Community College District.

Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. designs, manufactures and delivers the planet’s most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

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