A major solar photovoltaic roofing project as been completed at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Science at Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, Nev. Installed by Open Energy Corp., a renewable energy company, the 31.5-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) roofing system is composed of 900 SolarSave PV roof tiles and nine 3,500-watt inverters with combiner boxes.

The system was chosen because of the high voltage involved, the attractiveness of the tiles, the ease of installation and the ability of the tiles to withstand up to 280 pounds per square foot—important for the potential extreme snow loads on the building.

“This project is important for the solar industry as a whole, as it silences the common misconception that solar roofing products are limited to warmer climates,” said David Saltman, president and CEO of Open Energy Corp.

The Tahoe Center for Environmental Science is an environmental research and education facility built in conjunction with the University of California, Davis. The Desert Research Institute and RAND Corp. are collaborators in the $24 million project. The new facility will be an international center for science and teaching on the preservation of alpine lakes and their watersheds.

The center is currently seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The project is currently under review and tracking 56 LEED certified points, while only 52 are required for Platinum certification. Currently, there are only 17 platinum-certified buildings worldwide.