Publish Date: 3/23/2012 9:22 AM


The first completed section of the array
Crafton Hills College Solar Farm goes live on Wednesday, April 25 at noon in the area near the campus Soccer Field. Signs will be placed for directions. The public is invited to this free event and light refreshments will be served. Attendees are encouraged to park in lots D & G; parking fees will be waived for the event. The campus is located at 11711 Sand Canyon Road, in Yucaipa, off I-10, in San Bernardino County.

The project is a 1.3 mW (megawatt) Concentrator Photovoltaic system that will produce 90-95% of the campus’s electrical energy needs, saving approximately $500,000-800,000 a year for Crafton Hills. This is enough to power over 450 typical California homes or offset nearly 4 million pounds of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to removing over 4,000 cars from the road. $14.2 million in savings is anticipated over the 25-year life of the power plant.

The project is part of the continuing renovations and expansions at Crafton Hills College provided by the Measure M Bond passed by the voters in the San Bernardino Community College District service area in 2008, California Community Colleges-Investor Owned Utilities (CCC-IOU) Partnership incentive program, and other financial programs such as the California Solar Initiative. In March, Southern California Edison presented the San Bernardino Community College District and Crafton Hills College with a check for $1.83 million to be paid over five years as part of their solar initiative.

The system consists of 140 arrays spread out over 6-7 acres at the campus, roughly located about the areas of the old golf course. The project is the largest CPV plant in California and the largest SolFocus power plant in the world.

The budget for this project is $7.4 million dollars and will pay for itself in less than 8 years. The project began the design process in December 2011 and construction started in February. The Crafton Hills College project is the first deployment of SolFocus' 9.2 kW CPV systems – a performance increase from those deployed for projects in 2011. The project will offset more power usage with this CPV plant than has been done by any other customers.

President Gloria Macias Harrison noted, “This project ushers in the future at Crafton – demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment. The Solar Farm will help us protect our beautiful, lush campus, which is so aptly called “The Emerald on the Hill”, and the dedication ceremony is part of our 40th Anniversary celebration.”

The Sustainability Plan adopted by the San Bernardino Community College District defines sustainability as “using, developing, and protecting resources at a rate and manner that provides for the ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In alignment with those sustainability goals, Crafton Hills College has selected a solar technology that utilizes the least amount of equipment and land, and is comprised of 97% common recyclable materials.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) released its database in October 2011 highlighting photovoltaic installations in the U.S. Based on this report, and if the Crafton Hills College project was added to that database, the 1.3 megawatt project would rank 8th on the “Top Ten Installations at a Two Year Institution” list, of over 1,100 two year institutions nation-wide and 8th on the “Top Ten Planned Installations” list.

For additional information on the event, please contact Alisa Sparkia Moore, Crafton Hills College Public Information Officer at 909.389.3333 or asmoore@sbccd.edu. For more information on the array and the solar farm, please contact Gary Weinstein with Kitchell at 909.863.4103 or at gweinstein@kitchell.com.

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