Chaffey College and Borrego Solar Systems Celebrate Completion of the Largest Solar Energy System for a Community College in California
Borrego Solar designed and built the 5.5MW of solar carports on parking lots across three sites, which are expected to save the District $28.5 million over the life of the project
Chaffey College, which is located in San Bernardino County, today announces the completion of 5.5 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity expected to save $28.5 million over the life of the project. The District purchased the solar outright, which resulted in optimal savings. The solar shade structure installations at Chaffey College and its campuses in Fontana and Chino will offset nearly 7,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually, which is the same amount offset by taking almost 1,600 cars off the road for a year.
“Energy consultants have described this project as the largest solar panel installations at any California Community College and nothing makes us prouder than to have this solar array on our campuses,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Henry Shannon. “Once completed, this technology will offset more than 90 percent of the District’s annual electricity usage, which is phenomenal.”
Borrego Solar Systems, a leading commercial solar company, developed, designed, and built Chaffey CCD’s solar projects: 4.4 MW at Chaffey College, 775 kilowatts (kW) at the Chino Campus and 305 kW at the Fontana campus. The company has completed 16.5 MW of solar installations across 22 sites for community colleges in California. The Chaffey portfolio is the largest solar carport system Borrego Solar has completed to date for any customer segment.
“This is a marquee project for Borrego Solar and we could not have found a better partner than Chaffey College for a project of this scale and nature,” said Cameron Thorne, project developer at Borrego Solar who worked with Chaffey on the solar projects. “Chaffey College made a bold and empowering decision to go big on this project. This investment will make a significant and lasting impact to their energy mix and costs and clearly makes them a renewable energy leader within the broader California and educational landscape. This project took the very best of both Borrego Solar and Chaffey College to complete, and both teams delivered. We’re extremely proud to be their partner both now and for the future to ensure that this project continues to deliver on its potential.”
The projects are expected to produce nearly 10 million kW-hours of energy in the first year, which is the equivalent to the amount needed to power approximately 1,375 average homes in California annually. The solar systems are sized to offset approximately 90 percent of the current electricity usage for the District. Newcomb Anderson McCormick consulted the District on their solar portfolio.
Chaffey College and Borrego Solar celebrated operation of the systems on February 13 with speeches from Chaffey College Vice President of Academic Affairs Melanie Siddiqi, Superintendent/President Dr. Henry Shannon and Governing Board President Kathy Brugger, Faculty Senate President Ardon Alger and Borrego Solar Project Developer Cameron Thorne.