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Mission College Goes Solar To Save 8.5 Million

Mission College in Santa Clara, CA has completed a solar system designed to save the school approximately $8.5 million in electricity costs over 25 years.

The 1.1-megawatt system was installed as a parking lot canopy structure covering 1.5 acres and will provide approximately one third of the college's energy. Built by Gilbane, the project includes 2,640 high-efficiency solar panels manufactured by SunPower, and "will generate up to 50 percent more energy for the college than a similarly-sized system with conventional solar panels," according to information released by SunPower.

"The SunPower installation will greatly reduce our campus' operating expenses, allowing the College to direct precious general fund dollars toward academic programs, supplies, and teachers," said Mission College President Laurel Jones. "We are excited to be a model of sustainability for our student body and local community by introducing sustainable practices throughout our campus, including the new solar power system, development of clean tech curriculum, and construction of LEED-designed, energy-efficient buildings."

Mission College is a community college in California's West Valley-Mission Community College District. The school serves nearly 10,000 students in 70 different programs. The other school in the district, West Valley College, completed a similar project in October. The 1.1 MW West Valley installation will save the school approximately $9 million over 25 years, according to information released by the school.

Visit for more information about Mission College. More information about SunPower 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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