College to Be First 'grid Positive'

OROVILLE, Calif., Aug. 4 (UPI) — A California college says it is set to become the nation’s only grid-positive college, producing more energy from its own on-site solar power than it uses.

Butte College in Oroville, Calif., will add 15.000 solar panels to its existing 10,000 by May 2011 to become the largest solar-producing college in the world, a college release said Wednesday.

“Once this solar project is completed, Butte College will provide enough clean renewable energy to cover all of our electricity needs and generate slightly more than we use — which will be a source of additional revenue for the college,” Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg, Butte College President, said.

The school’s solar panels will generate more than 6.3 million kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power more than 9.200 average-sized homes, the release said.

The 15,000 new solar panels will be placed atop rooftops and will create covered parking areas and walkways.

The project will cost $17 million, with $12.65 million coming from federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, which are low-interest loans that can be used for clean energy projects.

The college will fund the remainder, up to $4.35 million.

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Categorized | Electricity, Other, Solar
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