Conergy realizes another successful grid parity project in the USA by contracting to build a 672 kilowatt photovoltaic power plant for Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. Students at the university will be learning about health powered by clean solar energy. Through this project, Conergy extends its cooperation with utilities in the USA even further and implements another solar project which is not financed by the off-taker of the clean energy but by a third party: Conergy’s utility partner Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., with whom the PV solution and service provider has already executed other projects in both California and New Mexico.
The partners, Conergy and Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc. will bring approximately 1,110 megawatt hours of clean solar energy per year to the university campus. The project will consist of three roof-top solar installations and one carport solar array totaling about 672 kilowatts. PV solution and service provider Conergy is acting as general contractor for this project and is responsible for the planning and engineering of the project as well as for its construction and the supply of the components. Investor and plant operator is Washington Gas Energy Systems and Project Developer is Green Energy Group LLC.
WesternU to produce about 18% of own electricity through new PV system
The university will be self-consuming 100% of the generated electricity via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Washington Gas Energy Systems that has a term of 20 years. The more than 2,600 solar modules will produce about 1,100 megawatt hours of clean solar power every year which will be used to power approximately 18% of the electricity needed for the three Western University of Health Sciences buildings where the solar power plants are located. That is the same amount of energy sufficient to supply approximately 11,100 laptops running 8 hours a day for a year. When completed the installations are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to recycling 293 tons of waste instead of sending it to a landfill, or taking more than 163 passenger cars off the road for one year.
Washington Gas Energy Systems supports communities on their way to sustainability
Thanks to the PPAs, institutions such as WesternU enjoy electricity prices guaranteed over 20 years that are clearly below the market level of power from the grid. The operators and investors of the plants receive a reliable yield over the term of the PPA.
“Western University of Health Sciences not only promotes health by educating graduate students in the medical field, it is now improving air quality by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through solar electricity,” said Sanjiv Mahan, Vice President of Business Development for Washington Gas Energy Systems. “This collaboration with the University, Green Energy Group, and Conergy is sure to serve as an example for other institutes of higher education looking to reduce their environmental footprints.”
Third party financing and grid parity are the key for growth in the US solar market
“In the USA third party financing is an important aspect in the development of the commercial solar market since a majority of customers do not want to incur high upfront costs. However, this is not necessary with the business model we have developed, together with our partners”, said Anthony Fotopoulos, President of Conergy Americas. “Many regions in the USA have already reached grid parity for end consumers where solar power is considerably cheaper today than power from the grid. With a third-party-financed PV system, the end consumers benefit from both: low and stable prices for clean electricity and no large investments in the plant itself.”
For more information on: Conergy