More solar lights campus

Community college builds photovoltaic arrays

Courtesy Of Butte College

Butte College has grown its solar initiative big time by adding several new energy-saving photovoltaic projects.

On Wednesday (Feb. 18), college officials unveiled two ground-mounted arrays (pictured) near the campus’ tennis courts and waste-water treatment plant, and a roof-mounted array at the Facilities building.

Completed in 2005, Butte’s first array is an impressive project that initially powered nearly a third of the college’s energy usage. Comprising 2,418 solar panels, the new projects will power 10 campus buildings and save the college $40,000 annually in energy costs.

In the latest $3.42 million endeavor, the college partnered with PG&E’s California Solar Initiative and Bank of America (the lender). Norm Nielson, owner of Chico Electric, installed the projects. In May, Butte is scheduled to finish work on its fifth array.