Santa Monica College and Chevron Energy Solutions will hold a dedication ceremony Friday, Oct. 29 for a newly completed solar and energy efficiency project on campus.
The project includes a 408-kilowatt solar system, which provides electricity through solar panels on the top level of two SMC parking structures that is generating power for the two garages and a significant portion of the Business Education Building. Officials estimate that the project will save the college more than $14 million over the life of the project.
Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corporation, designed, engineered, installed and operates the solar system and will maintain the system’s performance. SMC has also improved its energy efficiency through a campus-wide lighting retrofit, variable speed drives, new heating hot water boilers, a fire alarm system and emergency circuit upgrades that were also implemented by Chevron Energy Solutions, officials noted.
“We are committed to academic excellence, global responsibility and educational, environmental and economical awareness,” said Dr. Chui L. Tsang, president of Santa Monica College. “Our collaboration with Chevron Energy Solutions allows us to reduce the amount of energy used and lessen our college’s carbon footprint.”
College officials add that through the energy efficiency improvements and use of solar power, SMC is reducing its purchase of utility power, which is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,500 metric tons, equivalent to preserving 13 acres of forest from deforestation each year. The project is paid for exclusively by energy savings on utility bills.
The $3.6 million project generates approximately 50,660 kilowatt hours each month and is saving the college about $8,100 a month, according to officials.
“The comprehensive energy efficiency and solar project at Santa Monica College is an example of how budget relief can be maximized by combining energy efficiency with renewable power,” said Dave Stone, senior vice president for Chevron Energy Solutions. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Santa Monica College on this project.”
The dedication ceremony is scheduled at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 under the solar panels on the top level of Parking Structure 3, located on Pico Boulevard at 17th Street. The featured speakers will be Tsang, Stone and Stuart Cooley, an SMC professor who teaches in the college’s solar panel installation program.
Information, (310) 434-4303.