United Solar, the leading global manufacturer of lightweight, flexible thin-film building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar modules, has completed a 1.05MW solar power system on a total of 21 school rooftops across the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada. The company’s UNI-SOLAR brand photovoltaics were installed on 18 elementary schools and three middle schools, each featuring standing seam metal roofs.
PK Electrical, the electrical engineering firm and the design professional on the project for the Washoe County School District, said that UNI-SOLAR was the laminate of choice due to its aesthetic ability to be non-intrusive, since each laminate blends in almost perfectly with the building roof lines, building architecture and community goals. The company’s BIPV was solution was also chosen as it is simple to stick the laminates directly on the school’s metal roofs.
The installation is expected to save the district US$14,000 per year at each school in energy costs, which comes to more than US$300,000 annually and will offset approximately 166 metric tons of CO2 per year.The annual energy generation to the district is projected to be over two million kWh per year – approximately 100,000 kWh offset per school.
“UNI-SOLAR laminates are the most flexible, light weight therefore seamlessly-integrated solar products on the market globally, and on metal roofs like those in Washoe County School District the fit and look is outstanding,” said Ken Fox, President-Americas of United Solar. “Educational partnerships such as this are important because today’s youth seem to best understand the need for sustainable energy to help make their world a better place. Projects like this have as much to do with generating power as they do with empowering future generations.”
A computer monitoring system has also been installed at each school, displaying real-time usage data, providing an additional educational aspect to the systems. The monitors will detail energy and cost savings, providing school visitors, students and staff a clear understanding of the advantages of this technology.