Arizona Utility Names Solar Farm In Memory Of Employee
Arizona-based utility UniSource Energy Services (UES) has dedicated a new 5 MW solar array in memory of an employee who helped to keep the lights on for more than 30 years in Mohave County. UES says the Steven H. Jacobson Solar Facility, located north of Kingman, will produce enough power to meet the annual electric needs of more than 900 homes.
“The Steven H. Jacobson Solar Facility adds to UES’ growing renewable energy portfolio. We’re honored to name this new clean energy resource after someone who worked for so long and so hard to provide service to our customers,” says Carmine Tilghman, senior director of energy supply and renewable energy at UES.
Jacobson, a California native, moved to Kingman in 1984 and worked as a lineman and construction supervisor for UES in Mohave County. He died in March 2015 after a two-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jacobson’s family members joined coworkers to dedicate the facility.
“The idea of naming the facility after Steve was the result of his dedication to the company and the community,” says Bill DeJulio, senior director of UES subsidiary UNS Electric. “Whenever we had emergencies or storms, Steve was always there to help, whether he was a lineman or a foreman or a supervisor. He was always ready to contribute.”
Jacobson lent assistance to other utilities in times of need, traveling as far as Vermont and Hawaii to help local crews restore service after significant storms. He was dedicated to his family and coworkers, volunteered for several local nonprofit organizations and served on Kingman’s Clean City Commission.
The Jacobson Solar Facility includes more than 15,000 photovoltaic modules covering 32 acres. Engineering and construction team members included Sverdrup Engineering Services, Bowman Consulting, Premier Builders Group and Sletten Construction. UES owns and will manage the facility, and the utility notes it is working to deliver 20% of its power from renewable resources by 2020, surpassing the requirements that must be achieved by 2025 under Arizona’s renewable portfolio standard.
City Of Houston Buys Solar From 50 MW Project
The City of Houston and French energy company ENGIE have announced completion of the 50 MW SolaireHolman solar project, which will provide up to 10.5% of the city’s electricity needs under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
Located in Alpine, Texas, SolaireHolman was jointly developed and implemented by ENGIE subsidiaries Solairedirect North America and ENGIE North America. The project includes 203,840 solar panels on 360 acres and will provide electricity for Houston locations as diverse as the Hermann Park Zoo, the Bob Lanier Public Works Building, wastewater treatment plants, and several Bush Intercontinental Airport terminals.
In February, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council expanded the solar PPA from 30 MW to 50 MW, reaffirming the city’s commitment to renewable energy, reducing emissions and saving taxpayer money. “As the energy capital of the world, it is important that Houston lead by example and show that investing in solar and renewable energy is a critical tool cities must use to prepare for the future,” says Turner.
“We’re very proud to serve the city of Houston, a national innovator and substantial customer by any measure,” comments Marc-Alain Behar, managing director for Solairedirect North America. The SolaireHolman plant helps solidify Houston’s national leadership in renewable energy and growing use of solar energy. For the past two years, Houston has ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 30 Local Government list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership. The city uses nearly 1 billion kWh of green power annually, which represents more than 89% of its total energy needs.
Furman University Completes $1.7M Solar Farm
After nearly eight months of preparation and the installation of 2,994 solar panels, Furman University’s new $1.7 million solar facility has gone online and is supplying power to the Greenville, S.C., campus. The university first announced its plans to construct the project, located on six acres of land near the main campus entrance on Poinsett Highway, in August 2016.
Jeff Redderson, Furman’s associate vice president for facility and campus services, says, “The additional solar power will reduce our campus-wide electricity expenditures by up to five percent annually and reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions by three percent.”
The university notes that the 743 kW solar PV array is also set up for net metering, which means any excess power it generates can be sold back to utility Duke Energy. Redderson estimates the reduced energy costs will bring a return on Furman’s investment in eight years.
“Furman takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, and we’re proud to be a leader in our sustainability programs and renewable energy systems,” says Furman President Elizabeth Davis. “In addition to increasing the university’s solar power production and reducing our energy costs, the new solar facility will serve as a laboratory for Furman students pursuing careers in sustainability. We are constantly working to become a more sustainable campus, and this project is another example of our commitment to that goal.”
Davis says the new solar installation will also help Furman reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2026, the year of the university’s bicentennial. Duke Energy contributed to the project by providing Furman with a $997,000 solar rebate, one of the company’s largest to date. Furman contracted with Power Secure Solar, a North Carolina-based company with a local office in Greenville, to oversee the solar installation.
Lockheed Martin Adds Another Massive Solar Carport
Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), a Florida-based solar contractor and sister company to Advanced Roofing Inc., has announced completion of Lockheed Martin’s new 145,379-square-foot solar carport in east Orlando, Fla.
AGT says the 2 MW solar carport, located at the global security and aerospace company’s Rotary and Mission Systems facility parking lot, is expected to produce 3.41 million kWh of electricity per year and save approximately $370,000 in energy costs annually. Providing shelter for 592 cars, the solar carport’s four superstructures include 6,688 Hanwha SolarOne S-series solar modules and inverters by SunGrow.
AGT had previously partnered with Lockheed Martin to design and build a 2.25 MW solar carport near Clearwater, Fla. Completed in 2015, that initial solar carport has consistently achieved its energy production goals, according to Clint Sockman, vice president of Advanced Roofing and AGT.
Invenergy Tees Up Project At Former Golf Course
Chicago-based clean energy company Invenergy LLC has broken ground on its Shoreham Solar Commons facility, a 24.9 MW solar project located in the town of Brookhaven in Long Island, N.Y.
Invenergy is building the project at the former Tallgrass Golf Course. The company notes the redevelopment won’t require any clearing of trees; in fact, it plans to plant an additional 2,000+ trees on the project’s site. Unlike the former golf course, the solar array will not require the application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, which will directly benefit Long Island’s freshwater aquifer, according to Invenergy.
During peak construction, Shoreham Solar Commons will employ 175 workers and tradesmen. Over the life of the facility, the project is expected to provide $15 million in additional tax revenue, which is 10 times what the former golf course generated.
Invenergy says it currently has more than 220 MW of operating wind projects in New York, with another 1,165 MW of wind and solar projects in development across the state, including Shoreham.