Schneider Adds Solar to $9.5M College Energy Efficiency Project

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Schneider Electric plans to install solar panels at Columbia Basin College, in the third phase of a college energy efficiency project that includes $9.5 mllion in improvements.

Using a $765,188 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce, Schneider Electric is installing 100-kW photovoltaic solar arrays on a college business building. The panels will contribute to the institution’s annual energy and operational cost savings of more than $224,000 annually.  In addition, the college is expected to receive utility rebates in excess of $185,000.

In March 2014, the Washington State Department of Commerce awarded 45 public entities $14 million in grant funds, helping to leverage an additional $35 million in non-state funds for energy saving and solar projects. The immediate goal of the Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants program is to help stimulate Washington’s economy by creating jobs. Longer-term goals include reducing energy costs at the state’s public higher education institutions, local government facilities and state agencies.

Columbia Basin College’s three-phased, $9.5 million initiative spans over 20 facilities and incorporates a variety of energy efficiency upgrades to enhance classroom and building comfort, while reducing energy consumption through:

  • Lighting retrofits and occupancy controls
  • Intelligent building automation system
  • Animated sign replacement
  • Photovoltaic solar array installation and integration with energy metering system
  • HVAC replacements and upgrades
  • Heating system decentralization
  • Chiller plant optimization
  • Campus-wide energy metering system and monitoring-based commissioning
  • Underground piping replacement

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