A REAL TURN ON
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|When you're launching a solar panel program, cutting and discarding a ribbon just seems wasteful. (Although why can't landfills feel pretty every once in a while?) So, officials from West Valley College, the City of Saratoga, and SunPower Corp have instead flipped on theceremonial light switch for the Solar Gateway Project, the college’s new 1.1 MW solar power system. It will generate one-third of the Silicon Valley campus’ demand (with potential electricity savings so bright that half of the group put on shades). SunPower managing director Bill Kelly, far right, says financing mechanisms available to the educational sector are allowing campuses across Cali to bring in clean energy and cut operating costs.|
|The Solar Gateway system boasts a three-acre canopy structure using some 2,640 high-efficiency panels. (Not to mention providing primo shade for parked cars.) The college expects to save more than$9M over the system’s 25-year lifespan. Construction was completed in just two-and-a-half months. The project was a joint effort byGilbane Co, one of the nation’s largest construction and program managers, and San Jose-based solar panel manufacturer SunPower.|