ROOFTOP, GROUND MOUNT, CARPORT SYSTEM
Delaware Technical Community College
- System Specs | 800 kW
- System Production | 1,008 MWh annually
- Environmental Benefits | 804,232 fewer gallons of gasoline annually
Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) is taking great strides in energy sustainability. In 2013, the school became the host of Delaware’s largest combined use of carport, rooftop and ground mount arrays in a solar installation. The 800kW solar installation is a combination of five solar arrays located throughout the Delaware campus. It comprises 2,645 panels and produces 1,008 MWh of solar energy annually. The arrays offset approximately six percent of the annual total energy needs of the four sites on the Delaware Tech campus.
In 2010, Delaware Tech developed a Sustainable Energy Management Plan to reduce its energy use by 20 percent by the year 2020 and reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent.The college needed a project that would reinforce their energy management plans and produce onsite renewable energy generation to supplement existing utility power. As school officials recognized the value of managing energy, they realized that solar would be the best option for the college to save on energy costs while taking a leadership position in carbon reduction and sustainable energy production. It was determined that installing photovoltaic solar energy systems throughout the campus to generate clean renewable energy would be a great contribution toward achieving their energy management plan. However, to execute their goal, Delaware Tech was in need of a trusted and experienced solar energy provider who could provide a solar solution that would deliver savings and long term performance.
Through a competitive process Delaware Tech selected Standard Solar Inc., a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems, as their trusted partner to install the 2,645 panel solar system. A power purchase agreement (PPA) with Urban Grid Holdings, LLC (Urban Grid), was the funding vehicle that enabled solar to be installed at four sites of the Delaware Tech campus. The sites include a ground mount at Owens Campus, roof mounts at the Stanton and Terry campuses, as well as a roof mount and carport system at the Wilmington campus. “Through this project, Delaware Tech has reinforced their dedication to furthering the field of energy management while also significantly contributing to Delaware’s renewable energy portfolio. By installing this solar system, the College is also providing the student body with an invaluable learning platform,” said Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar. Each installation provides power to its own site with the exception of the Wilmington Carport which is aggregated net-metered and powers two other sites.
The 800kW system became fully operational in December 2013, and is a great asset to the Delaware Tech campus. In fact, with the addition of Delaware Tech’s solar system, the city of Wilmington is now ranked 3rd among cities nationwide for solar capacity per capita and 7th among cities for cumulative solar installations in 2013.
Delaware Tech benefits from the solar arrays economically, educationally and environmentally. “This project is the result of a partnership dedicated to advancing solar energy in Delaware. As a provider of energy education, it is also important that our own operations serve as a role model for our students, for the businesses we serve, and for the community. These solar panels put the College well on its way to achieving a 20 percent reduction in its carbon footprint in the next couple of years,” said Delaware Technical Community College President, Dr. Orlando J. George, Jr.
The College offers leading associate degree programs in renewable energy solar, energy management and building automation systems. The solar arrays are a significant part of the campus’ overall energy and environmental awareness and support hands-on classroom learning. Delaware Tech has also constructed energy education labs at all three counties of the state.