Borrego Solar canopy project powering California community college

Published in Solar Power World

Yuba College, a community college in the Yuba Community College District (YCCD) in Marysville, California, celebrates the completion of a 1-MW solar carport installation expected to result in $10 million of avoided utility costs over the life of the system. The district purchased the solar outright.

“The YCCD Governing Board and leadership is committed to reducing our carbon footprint for our students and community. This is the environmentally responsible action to take and it will result in substantial cost savings that will lower our operating costs,” said Douglas Houston, chancellor, YCCD. “Additionally, the district’s use of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to finance this project allows the district to apply Measure J General Obligation Bond funds to other important and needed facilities projects that directly impact student success.”

The project is expected to produce nearly 1.5 million kWh of energy in the first year, which is equivalent to the amount needed to power approximately 260 average homes in California annually. The energy produced from the Yuba College solar carport system together with its other solar project at Woodland Community College is enough to offset 100% of the district’s electric energy use with solar power.

Borrego Solar Systems, the largest private commercial solar developer and installer nationwide, built Yuba College’s system. The solar energy system is comprised of 2,424 LG Electronics panels. Yuba College is also installing an energy storage unit as part of its clean energy initiative, which will help the facility save on utility demand charges. The system is expected to be installed and operational by next winter.

The Yuba Community College District and Borrego Solar celebrated the completion of the system on April 11 at a ribbon cutting ceremony and speeches by Yuba College President, Dr. Javaheripour, and YCCD Trustee Brent Hastey.