California State University Bakersfield has activated a 1.2 megawatt solar parking canopy that officials say will provide 25 to 30 percent of the energy consumed on campus.
The university says the installation will generate more than 1.6 million kilowatt hours of energy in the first year of operation and produce more than 30 million kilowatt hours over 20 years. That is enough energy to power more than 3,100 average U.S. homes for one year. The solar energy canopy will offset more than 29 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the initial 20 years of operation.
The Bakersfield institution installed the solar array through an agreement with SunEdison, which provided the upfront cost of $9.5 million. The university will buy the solar energy from the company for 20 years.
The solar canopy also provides shade for 500 parking spaces on campus.