Horace Mitchell, president of California State University, Bakersfield, (CSUB), and Sun Edison LLC, a worldwide solar energy services provider and a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, hosted a ceremony to mark the activation of the 1.2 megawatt (MW) solar parking canopy located on the CSUB campus.

The solar parking canopy was implemented through a solar power service agreement (SPSA) between CSUB and SunEdison that required no upfront costs from the university. CSUB will purchase the clean energy produced over a period of 20 years to offset the university’s demand from the utility grid. CSUB will also retain the renewable energy credits generated by the production of clean energy from the solar parking canopy.

According to Mitchell, CSUB has set a goal to purchase or produce 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. This solar-power system will exceed that goal by providing an estimated 25 to 30 percent of that energy.

The 1.2 MW solar parking canopy will generate more than 1.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy in the first year of operation and produce more than 30 million kWh over 20 years. That is enough energy to power more than 3,100 average U.S. homes for one year. The solar parking canopy will offset more than 29 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the initial 20 years of operation.

The activation of the 1.2 MW solar parking canopy marks the eighth solar power deployment for the CSU system by SunEdison, totaling more than 4.3 MW of solar capacity.