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Southwestern College To Save $600,000 Annually with Solar

Southwestern College has completed installation of a 3.2-megawatt solar power system at its Chula Vista campus.

Expected to save $600,000 each year, the project's SunPower solar panels are mounted atop shade structures in six of the college's parking lots.

The $13 million project was funded through a general obligation bond, Proposition R, passed in 2008.

"It makes sense to use the clean, renewable resource of the sun to power our college sustainably," said Melinda Nish, superintendent and president of Southwestern College, in a prepared statement. "We think this is an investment of Proposition R dollars that will continue to pay dividends for the college community for many years to come."

Aside from the cost savings, the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,600 tons each year, the equivalent of removing 13,000 cars, for the 25-year lifespan of the system.

"Southwestern College can rely on its high quality SunPower solar systems to deliver guaranteed performance for the next 25 years or more," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president of business units, in a prepared statement. "It is extremely rewarding to help our educational institutions thrive using power from the sun."

Southwestern College is a community college serving 20,000 students with more than 320 degree and certificate options. More information 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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