Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) is a leader in what is now a nationwide trend that finds schools turning to solar energy to cut overhead costs to make more funds available for student education.
The college was among the first campuses in the nation to adopt a sustainability plan and now has approximately 1.7 megawatts of solar powering two campuses. Positive Energy Solar cut the ribbon Jan. 14 on the third solar project they’ve completed for SFCC at the grand opening of the new Higher Education.
Two solar arrays installed in 2014 already save the college more than $200,000 per year. The new 156kW installation at the HEC combines a solar parking structure with rooftop arrays and will produce approximately 70 percent of the energy to power the new building.
“SFCC is deploying solar arrays to generate affordable, clean energy that at the same time provide state of the art educational platforms and reduce operating costs.” SFCC President Randy W. Grissom said. “The college’s commitment to solar creates local jobs, develops skilled workers to fill those jobs and makes more funds available for education- it’s a win win win. We encourage all institutions of higher education in New Mexico to take advantage of the solar opportunity.”
Schools and higher education institutions across the country are pursuing solar energy to combat shrinking budgets and projected spikes in grid energy. Solar installations protect school budgets against these spikes and offer hands-on learning experiences for students. The first array Positive Energy Solar completed for Santa Fe Community College consisted of three dual axis trackers that features prominently in the college’s Sustainable Technologies curriculum.
The solar array at the HEC features 444 SunPower® high-performance panels – the most efficient panels with the best warranty in the world. Bradbury Stamm Construction and Positive Energy Solar collaborated on the project. Positive Energy Solar, headquartered in Santa Fe, is the 2014 SunPower® dealer of the year and is known statewide for their deep expertise in solar system implementation and 100 percent customer satisfaction. Bradbury Stamm Construction is based in Albuquerque and has been executing high quality building projects for more than 90 years.