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Our BatchGeo world MAP shows the locations of green building and renewable energy projects featured on Solaripedia.

Project

Arizona College Serves Up 5 MWs of Solar

Credits: ©2011 Arizona Western College

Arizona Western College (AWC) in Yuma, Arizona, USA, broke ground in May 2011 on the largest college or university solar power system in the US. It is slated to generate power in mid-September 2011, with a large community celebration in October. Its five megawatt system will provide 100 percent of the college's daytime power use in an area that receives 354 generating days per year. Owned and operated by Main Street Power, the solar installation includes five-1MW sites across the campus that showcases five different PV technologies: Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) panels from SolFocus and GreenVolts, thin-film tandem-junction amorphous-silicon panels from Sharp Solar, monocrystalline panels from Solar World, and polycrystalline panels from Suntech. Many of the solar installations will also use tracking devices that help maximize electricity generation. This may be the first utility-scale project to use five different solar technologies. It is estimated that the power produced could net the college about $40+ million dollars in energy cost savings and revenues provided through a 30-year power purchase agreement with Main Street Power. The installations are designed for access by students and researchers, and are integrated into curricula leading to certificates and renewable energy degrees. There is also a real-time online solar tracker that provides system data 24 hours per day. (Scroll to bottom for additional renewable energy and green building resources)

 

Arizona Western College Solar Array Cropped

The photovoltaic installations at Arizona Western College are designed for access by students and researchers, and are integrated into curricula leading to certificates and renewable energy degrees. There is also a real-time online solar tracker that provides system data 24 hours per day. ©2011 Sylvia Allen, AWC Photo Services

LIVE Solar Monitoring at AWC
This tracker provides real-time monitoring of Arizona Western College's 5 MW solar system on campus in Yuma.

System Details
• Five megawatts makes this array the single largest at a U.S. college or university as of May 2011

• Will test the five different commercially available photovoltaic technologies, including amorphous-silicon panels, monocrystalline panels, two different CPV panels and polycrystalline panels

• Low- to no-water consumption requirement

• Most participating technologies boast small cradle-to-grave footprint – 97 percent recyclable components

• Most participating technologies use existing materials, no toxic or rare items, making manufacture both economically supportable and sustainable

• Third Party Solar Monitoring will control data feed

• Deployment: east and south of main campus

Green Clean Renewable Energy
• Covers 100 percent of the college’s daytime energy needs

• Will save the college more than $3.5m in the first ten years, $15.4m over 20 years

State-of-the-Art Workforce Development and Curriculum
• Student and faculty get access to cutting-edge technologies

• Curriculum includes

o Occupational certificate

o Workforce training

o Associate’s degree of Applied Science

o Partnerships with University for Bachelor’s, Master’s degrees

Partnerships Nationally and Globally
• Arizona Public Service is supporting installation

• Companies include

o Signet Solar (Germany,California)

o SKYLINE Solar (California)

o SolFocus (California)

o Del Solar (China, California)

o Canadian Solar (Canada, China)

o Satcon Energy Systems (Canada, California)

o RayTracker (California)

Yuma Area
• Yuma offers the most beneficial Solar Days in the U.S. – 354 generating days a year

• Guinness Book of World Records named Yuma, Arizona the sunniest city on earth

• Yuma’s access to west coast, ample land make this a superior site for solar development

• Creates world-class site for research and testing at the corporate and government levels


Documents

  Arizona Western College Solar InfoSheet MAY 2011 (1,816 kb)


Resources

Arizona Western College Solar System (USA)

Arizona Western College Solar Monitor (LIVE)

Arizona Western College Solar WebCam


Videos

Watch Arizona Western College Solar Array Thumbnail

Arizona Western College Solar Array Video