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California University To Save 1.6 Million with Solar Energy

Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) in San Diego, CA has completed two solar systems that will save the school as much as $1.6 million over the next 20 years.

The first, a 620-kilowatt DC photovoltaic system, was installed on two rooftops and five carports. The system was designed, engineered, and constructed by SPG Solar, and financed through a power purchase agreement with Perpetual Energy Systems (PES). Under the agreement, PLNU will buy the energy generated by the system from PES for a predetermined amount over the 20-year life of the contract.

The second project is a 54 kW solar thermal hot water system installed by Adroit Solar. The system was paid for by PLNU's student green fund, a $5 semester fee initiated by students to finance campus sustainability efforts. The installation will lower utility costs by $5,000 per year and provide 940 gallons of hot water per day to the student dorms.

Together, the two projects used more than 2,600 Kyocera solar panels and will generate more than 917,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year for the next two decades.

Founded in 1902, PLNU is a private Christian liberal arts university. It serves more than 3,500 students and was recognized by the Sierra Club as one of America's top 100 greenest schools in 2010 and 2011.

More information about sustainability efforts at PLNU is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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