Coalinga, California – July 14, 2014 – Premier Renewables is excited to announce the recent completion of a 900 kW solar installation for West Hills Community College in Coalinga, California.
Due to their long standing history within the agricultural community, Premier Renewables is excited to add the Farm of the Future solar installation to their list of completed agricultural projects. It is estimated that West Hills College will be saving $4.8 million in electrical energy costs in the next two decades due to the recently installed solar energy system.
Carole Goldsmith, President of West Hills College, Coalinga stated that, “Our 4.5 acre solar farm is a net zero project that is designed to pay for entire power needs of the Farm of the Future. The solar plant powers our classrooms, shops, and rodeo complex as well as our agriculture needs. The advent of solar energy on our farm has allowed us to affordably pump water so we may grow more crops. This has greatly expanded our production capabilities as well as increased the learning opportunities for our students. Before the installation of the solar farm it was cost prohibitive to pump water in quantities necessary for crop growth, but that’s changed. We’re seeing an increase in crop production which produces some revenue for the Farm’s educational programs and equipment.”
The installation of the solar energy system exemplifies West Hills Colleges’ desire to maintain a comprehensive educational system to help foster the agricultural community. West Hills Community College is continuing to increase their agriculture-related academic focus, and this renewable energy system for their Farm of the Future program is an important part of meeting those objectives.
Recently, the Farm of the Future was able to partner with two large agricultural companies located in the central valley. The new solar installation and Topcorn Precision Agricultural have provided the Farm of the Future program with a considerable amount of support in advancing and enriching their agricultural program. The program was able to purchase advanced agricultural operating equipment for the students and hold a summer agriculture academy for 50 eighth grade students from Avenal and Kettleman City last year.
Premier Renewables says they “are proud that this solar installation will aid in the future development and growth of the agriculture industry and future farmers.” They hope these enrichments will provide future students with a greater understanding of the diversity and opportunities within the agricultural and renewable energy industries.
The solar facility will also be used to support alternative energy courses and enable the farm to produce and deliver fresh produce to an estimated 550 early childhood learning center participants for low income families. The students are now able to operate a “pick-your-own-produce” community garden and farmers market.
The installation of the Farm of the Future solar project was completed on budget and on time within the demands of West Hills College. In addition to the Farm of the Future solar energy system, Premier Renewables has designed and installed over 6 MW of agricultural solar systems within the central valley, including a 2.3 MW system for agricultural well pumps in Kettleman City and a 1MW solar energy system for Cornerstone Cold Storage and Packing Facility.
“Every opportunity we’ve had within the agricultural industry has been extremely positive, it’s always amazing to see how these farms are able to decrease their costs while continuing to grow their success with the help of solar” said Neil Lahey, COO of Premier Renewables LLC.