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Solar project will save $77K annually at Yuba College campus

Source: 
Appeal-Democrat

April 13--A projected $77,000 in annual energy costs will be saved at the Yuba College Linda campus with the installation of elevated solar support structures, the Yuba Community College District announced Thursday.

The installation of 958 kilowatts of solar support structures will be distributed between the Linda and Woodland campuses and provide enough energy to meet approximately 85 and 100 percent of remaining energy needs, respectively, according to a district press release.

Michael Pasquale, board president, said in the press release that staff and administrators have continually done an outstanding job of looking for innovative solutions that will have a residual and sustainable impact on student success.

"The board is very pleased to announce the newest solar projects for the Yuba Community College District, in our continued efforts to generate and store clean renewable energy. I characterize this announcement as a win-win for the district and community," Pasquale said. "Win one will be a reduction in our carbon footprint. Win two will be lowering our operating costs."

The installation is expected to offset around 2,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to taking nearly 450 cars off the road for a year. Any of the solar energy not consumed by the campuses will be fed onto the local electricity grid and credited back to the district, according to the release.

The structures were purchased with Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and will generate clean power for the district for at least the next quarter century, according to the release.

Douglas Houston, chancellor for the district, said in the release that since the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds were used to finance the project, Measure J General Obligation Bonds could be used to fund other projects.

Borrego Solar, the company which won the bid, indicated in its cost of ownership report that $5.4 million of the total $6.1 million project was eligible for energy bonds.

According to the a past agenda item report, Borrego Solar is expected to complete the project by Jan. 31, 2019.

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(c)2018 the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.)

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Content Discussion

Joe Steinke's picture
Joe Steinke

According to the article, $6.1 million in bonds was used for the installation saving $77,000. This means that is will take about 80 years to pay back the bonds at zero interest. With a life span of 25-30 years for the solar panels, this does not look like it will every pay back.