Cal State Fullerton to Expand Sustainability Efforts with SunPower Corp.

The carports will collect solar energy while providing needed shade.
Carports with solar panels

Carports with solar panels

Fullerton, Calif.—SunPower Corp. announced that construction is underway on a four-megawatt SunPower solar power system at three university parking areas. The beneficiary is California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), which will acquire the emission-free solar power generated by the system under a power purchase agreement that enables the university to offset more than one-third of their peak electrical load, potentially saving millions in electricity costs over almost 20 years, according to CSUF.

“With the cost-competitive solar power generated by our SunPower systems, the university will control electricity costs and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Willem van der Pol, interim associate vice president for facilities management at CSUF. “SunPower’s experience partnering with universities is as important to us as the proven high performance of its technology. CSUF has supported sustainability in our operations for more than two decades, and we are proud to support the long-term health of our students, staff and community by increasing our reliance on solar power.”

The project involves the construction of solar carports on two parking structures and a parking lot. All three sites will be equipped with high efficiency SunPower direct current solar panels, the most efficient on the market currently, and the world’s first to achieve a Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver designation for the sustainable practices and materials used in their manufacturing.

“Cal State Fullerton can rely on these SunPower systems to deliver exceptional long term value,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “SunPower has extensive experience working with universities and colleges to deliver innovative solar solutions. It is extremely rewarding to enable our higher education institutions to achieve significant operational savings while inspiring students with the great potential of solar power.”

The energy generated by the system will be equivalent to the energy used by 501 average American households in one year, enough to power more than 2,000 electric cars for 30 years. CSUF owns the renewable energy credits associated with the systems which are expected to be operational by the end of this year.

CSUF has a long history in the sustainability field: the campus installed its first 1-megawatt solar power system in 2012; regularly upgrades its lighting efficiency; install low-flow fixtures and irrigation meters; built LEED-certified buildings; operates an energy-smart tri-generation plant; installed bio-swales to retain rainwater and replaced turf with drought-tolerant plants throughout the campus.

Image courtesy of CSUF