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Solar power installation planned for College of the Redwoods

Oct. 23, 2020
The system is expected to provide 90% of the energy demand on the Eureka, Calif., campus

The College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif., plans to convert power usage on its main campus to renewable solar energy.

The school says in a news release that a 2.1 megawatt system, with an additional 500 KW of battery storage, will cover about three acres of open field space on campus, about a third of campus parking, and the roof the Learning Resource Center.

The energy generated by the system is expected to provide about 90% of the campus’s energy demands.

“Our Board of Trustees took a very courageous and far-reaching decision to approve CR’s new solar energy project for the Eureka Campus,” says College President Keith Flamer.  “Our trustees know that expanding the use of solar power will not only provide a reliable energy source for the campus and a platform for additional academic programming, but it will also help mitigate the problems associated with climate change.”

ForeFront Power will design, construct, own, operate, and maintain the grid. The college will then buy power from them for a fixed, flat rate for 20 years. At the end of that time, the colege takes ownership of the system.

The project also will create a “living lab” of sustainability for students with the possibility of internships and fellowships with ForeFront, integrating with the college's Construction Tech Solar program.

After a feasibility study is completed and the project is approved, it will take about 12 weeks to install the system. Estimated cost savings to the college are $4.2 million over 20 years.

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