Cal Poly San Luis Obispo announced the launch of a 4.5 megawatt solar farm project Oct. 3 that will provide around a quarter of its total electricity usage.
The university has contracted with REC Solar to finance construction and maintenance through a power purchase agreement. Construction began in late September and is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
With single-axis tracking technology, the panels will be able to rotate to follow the sun’s path, producing around 30 percent more energy than a stationary system. The project, situated on 18.5 acres of the university’s grazing lands off Stenner Creek Road, will save the campus millions of dollars on utilities and provide learning opportunities for students, Cal Poly said in a news release.
REC Solar is also partnering with the university to incorporate the project into sustainability learning objectives for students and faculty and develop a curriculum for science, engineering and design courses. Animal science students will also use the site to graze sheep and research vegetation management practices for utility-scale solar farms.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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