Occidental College is no stranger to solar power, having installed a 1 MW solar array in 2013. In its nine years in operation, the array has produced 16.20 GWh of electrical energy, providing 12.1% of the college’s usage in that time period.
The array has lowered the college’s electric bills, saving the college $314k over the past year, the second best year for savings with increasing electricity prices compensating for lost production. To date the array has saved the college $2.5M on an investment of $3.35M. Accounting for lost investment opportunities (endowment) the payback period for the array is now 17 years–the school is now more than halfway through paying for the array.
Professor Snowden-Ifft was instrumental in the design and development of the array and he continues to monitor it. Based on what he learned about solar energy in the US, he put together an interactive quiz, which we share with you here. Take the quiz!
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