Large solar electric rooftop system to be installed at Los Angeles university


LOS ANGELES, Calif., Jan. 8, 2003 — The largest solar electric rooftop system at any university in the world and the largest system in Southern California will be installed at Loyola Marymount University in early 2003, providing a cleaner, more efficient source of electricity from California’s famous sunshine.

Due to an innovative partnership between Los Angeles’ Loyola Marymount University, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the Southern California Gas Company, and solar electric company PowerLight, the 723-kilowatt hours peak solar rooftop system will be installed at Loyola Marymount’s campus in Westchester on three of the university’s largest buildings: Gersten Pavilion, University Hall, and the Von der Ahe Library.

Estimated at a total outlay of more than $4.3 million, the project expense will be offset by rebates — $3.7 million from the LADWP, and $325,000 from the Gas Company — resulting in an actual cost to the university of only $325,000. LMU receives the $325,000 incentive from the Gas Company as part of a statewide program implemented by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Encompassing a combined 81,000 feet of rooftop, the total project will generate roughly 880,000 kilowatt hours annually — producing enough clean electricity in the daytime to power more than nearly 150 homes in the Los Angeles area and resulting in an annual reduction of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to driving a car more than two million miles — or the amount that can be consumed by about 233 acres of trees annually. Construction is expected to be complete on all three facilities by April.

“This is a big win for everyone,” said Lynne B. Scarboro, Loyola Marymount University’s vice-president for administration. “Loyola Marymount will have a cost-effective, reliable, non-polluting system that will save us more than $120,000 annually, and we will be contributing to the well-being of our planet and, in particular, the well-being of Southern California. We’re grateful for the support of the LADWP and the Gas Company, and applaud their efforts in helping us address the energy crisis.”

LADWP General Manager David H. Wiggs said, “The installation of this system by Loyola Marymount in partnership with LADWP is an outstanding model of how a coordinated effort can result in reduced traditional energy usage, as well as tangible savings utilizing environmentally-friendly renewable energy resources.”

“This formidable solar system means a cleaner environment in Los Angeles, and our incentive program is one, if not the best, mechanism for making LA a solar leader,” added Angelina Galiteva, LADWP director of Green LA.

By investing in on-site solar generation, Loyola Marymount will be able to effectively integrate solar electricity into its energy mix, thereby lowering operating costs, reducing purchases of expensive peak electricity, and doing its part to aid California’s ongoing energy shortage. In addition to generating electricity, PowerLight’s solar roof system provides thermal insulation and protects the roof from weather and UV radiation, resulting in decreased heating and cooling energy costs and extended roof life. The solar electric system will spare the environment from thousands of tons of emissions such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, which are major contributors to smog, acid rain and global warming.

The university has a history of being an environmentally conscious leader and has received numerous awards and recognition for its efforts. Recently, Loyola Marymount was awarded a $21,250 grant from the Metropolitan Water District for its water conservation efforts. Launched in summer 2002, the conservation program began with the replacement of 85 water-energy guzzling top-load washers with more water-efficient machines. The new washers use 56 percent less water than the previous models and save more than 2.5 million gallons of water and $10,000 annually. In addition, the energy used to heat 300,000 gallons of hot water is offset by more than half.

The campus’ recycling program also is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and has been recognized by California’s Department of Conservation and the city of Los Angeles for its outstanding efforts. When it began in 1992, the university’s recycling program was the first truly campus-wide recycling program in the Western United States. The program has been praised as a national model for cost-effective institutional recycling by the College and University Recycling Council of the National Recycling Organization (NRC).

In addition, the university recently purchased new solid waste and recycling equipment, which contribute to a further reduction of solid waste spending by over one-third of the current annual disposal expenditures despite large-scale growth of the campus acreage during the last few years.

About the Solar Program, Green LA and the LADWP

The LADWP has assisted with a number of solar power system installations at such well-known vendors as Whole Foods Market and Neutrogena. The Solar Incentive Program offers rebates of $4.50 per watt or $6 per watt if the system is manufactured in the city of Los Angeles. The Solar Program is part of the LADWP Green LA Program, which also includes: Green Power — purchasing new renewable clean energy; Energy Efficiency — offering rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances; Trees for a Green LA — sponsoring workshops for residential customers who may then receive up to seven shade trees; Electric Transportation — teaching customers about the benefits of nearly pollution-free driving; and Cool Schools — providing shade trees and instruction to students while lowering campus energy costs. Further information about the Solar and other Green LA Programs can be received by logging on to GreenLA.com, or phoning 1-800-GreenLA.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest city-owned utility, serves more than 3.8 million people in a 465-square-mile service area. LADWP is celebrating its century of service providing water and electric needs to the city’s residents and businesses.

About Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles

Founded in 1911, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles is the eighth largest of the nation’s 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest Catholic university in Southern California. With a strong base in the liberal arts, LMU serves more than 5,300 undergraduates and about 3,000 graduate students. LMU includes four colleges: the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, the College of Business Administration, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and the College of Science and Engineering, as well as the School of Education, the School of Film and Television, the Graduate Division, Continuing Education, and Loyola Law School. For more information, visit the LMU website at www.lmu.edu.

About PowerLight Corporation

PowerLight (www.powerlight.com), founded in 1991, is a manufacturer of commercial-scale solar electric products and services. Inc. Magazine has ranked the PowerLight Corporation among the top 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Today, PowerLight has worldwide offices and offers a full line of solar electric products including roof-mounted, ground-mounted and carport solar systems for industrial, commercial and government applications. PowerLight’s products produce reliable, affordable clean power for businesses and government agencies worldwide.

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