U California Davis Goes Solar

The University of California, Davis has completed construction of a 16.3-megawatt solar power plant that will produce approximately 14 percent of the university's electricity needs.

The new plant "is the largest solar installation in the UC system and the largest 'behind the meter' solar plant on a U.S. college campus off-setting electricity demand," according to a news release. "The university expects to reduce the campus' carbon footprint by 9 percent, or 14,000 metric tons, as a result of the system."

Designed, built, owned and operated by SunPower, the installation features the company's Oasis Power Plant system and robotic panel cleaning technology designed to reduce water usage by 75 percent and increase system efficiency by as much as 15 percent.

"This is a compelling example of how, with partners such as SunPower, we at UC Davis are reducing our carbon footprint," said P.B. Katehi, UC Davis chancellor, in a prepared statement. "By taking steps to aggressively reduce our carbon emissions, we can set an example to the nation and the world of what can be achieved when we combine political will with science and innovation."

About the Author

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

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