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Standard Solar Funds Rooftop Solar Arrays to Further Reduce Caltech’s Environmental Impact

Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 3:22 pm
Photo courtesy Standard Solar, Inc Facebook page

Caltech has installed solar panels on the rooftops of eight more of its campus buildings to maximize energy production at times when electricity is the most expensive to purchase from the grid.

Standard Solar, Inc., a Rockville, Maryland-based company, is funding and will own and operate the portfolio of solar systems.

A Standard Solar statement said the eight buildings now host a combined 800 kilowatts of solar energy. These buildings include Bechtel Residence, Bridge, Downs Luritsen, Hameetman, Keith Spalding, Parsons Gates, South Mud, and Synchrotron.

“This project represents the culmination of a decade-long vision to build out rooftop solar across the Caltech campus,” Maximilian Christman, Caltech sustainability manager, said in the statement. “Our campus in Pasadena now hosts two megawatts of onsite solar capacity, furthering our efforts towards carbon reduction and eventually carbon neutrality.”

The system is projected to generate approximately 1,328 megawatt-hours in the first year of operation and reduce annual carbon offset by an equivalent of 114.5 million smartphones charged.

“What better way to strengthen our asset portfolio in California than through providing the funds needed to help one of its leading educational institutions reduce its dependence on nonrenewable energy sources,” said Shaun Laughlin, head of U.S. Strategic Development at Standard Solar. “Caltech is setting a standard to which other centers of learning and organizations should emulate.”

Seven of the eight solar projects are now operating, with one waiting for final permission to operate, the statement added.

Caltech’s solar power program also involved EMCOR Services Mesa Energy, a leading mechanical and energy services company with operations throughout California, Arizona and Nevada.

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