November 2014 – The University of California Santa Barbara is excited to announce the completion of a 423 kW solar energy system on campus. The project, located on the upper level of the Parking 22 garage near the Thunderdome indoor sports arena, consists of 1,800 high efficiency solar panels mounted on a raised steel support structure. The design allows for continued vehicle access to the upper level, while also tilting the panels to the south for increased solar production throughout the year.

In 2010, the motivation behind the project stemmed from two UCSB students – Clayton Carlson and Michael Hewitt – envisioning a solar energy system that would be an important part of the University’s sustainability initiative. “Mike and I pushed the renewable energy initiative as not only a way to get the campus to a more sustainable state, but to a more financially sustainable state as well,” said Carlson. Their idea has since sparked the University’s interest in increasing that commitment; this project alone will reduce campus electricity bills by around $4 million through the use of solar power.

The electricity generated from this PV system will power student resource buildings, the Student Health building and the Children’s Center. UCSB already has a 155 kW solar energy system on the Recreation Center building, as well as two smaller solar solutions. Both of the larger PV projects were designed and engineered by Premier Renewables, LLC of San Luis Obispo, CA.

The University plans to continue to increase its sustainability efforts by implementing various energy efficiency practices in the future. Bill McTague, executive director of resource planning and information technology in the Department of Student Affairs, said that “As part of our agreement with the students we are also looking at moving aggressively toward energy efficiency. For example, within the next six months we will be retrofitting all of the Student Resources Building with new LED lighting and integrated controls.”

UCSB started construction on the Parking Structure energy system this summer and it was completed in November, with solar electricity expected to begin being provided to the campus’ electrical grid by the end of the year. UCSB is excited about the contribution this project will make toward satisfying its energy initiative objectives, and looking forward to the resulting lower electricity costs.

Premier Renewables LLC provides turnkey solar energy solutions specifically tailored for each client and application. This is the second solar project they have designed for the University of Santa Barbara. Premier Renewables commitment to quality, integrity, and dependability has allowed them to provide cost effective solar energy systems to commercial and agricultural businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities. Their specialties within the agricultural solar power industry include cold storages, packing sheds, irrigation pumps and many more agricultural applications. If your entity is considering having a solar energy system installed or would simply like more information please don’t hesitate to contact Premier Renewables LLC.