Work to begin on 5 MW solar project at AWC

The project, which will comprise five one-megawatt sites at AWC’s campus, is scheduled for completion this October. It was designed, and will be installed, by Rosendin Electric. Meanwhile, Main Street Power, in partnership with its long-term financing partner, Morgan Stanley subsidiary MS Solar Solutions will own and operate the systems.

Overall, they are expected to generate almost 100 percent of the campus’ daytime electricity needs, and should save the college over USD$40 million dollars over the 30-year power purchase agreement with Main Street Power.

A range of different technologies will be employed for the project, including thin film panels from Sharp Solar, SolarWorld monocrystalline modules, polycrystalline modules from Suntech, and concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) from SolFocus and GreenVolts. SolFocus will also provide its dual-axis trackers, while single-axis trackers will come from O Solar.

"We know of no other solar project where all five technologies are showcased at utility scale, installed by the same group, at the same time with the same equipment, tracked and optimized, and under the best solar resource in the country. The data generated by the project should be very interesting," commented Bruce Mercy, CEO of PPA Partners.

The installations will also reportedly include private demonstration systems of each technology for corporate and government comparisons, and access by students and researchers.

In a statement, Main Street Power said: "New curriculum offerings at the college will range from certificates to Renewable Energy degree programs, and partnerships are in the works with universities for continuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

"The college’s workforce training is expected to lead to thousands of clean tech jobs in the Southwest in coming years, considering multiple planned solar projects in Arizona and surrounding states. Renewable energy manufacturers tend to build new plants within 60 miles of major education and research centers, making this project a benchmark opportunity for future development and growth."