The solar carport, located on a 4-acre upper parking lot at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, is the largest solar PV facility in Marin County. The energy generated is delivered directly to MCE’s customers, including the Buck Institute, under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
This carport project is part of the larger 32.6 MWp/24 MWac Cottonwood Solar contract signed between EDF Renewable Energy and MCE in 2011 and later acquired by Dominion. The Cottonwood Solar portfolio consists of three sites, two of which are ground-mount facilities located on private land in the central California counties of Kern and Kings that became operational in April 2015.
Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President for Development at EDF Renewable Energy, offered his comments during the ceremony stating, “Over the past decade or so, and within the past several years in particular, we have witnessed the coming of age of solar as an affordable, reliable source of energy for consumers, commercial and industrial customers, and utilities. We are proud to partner with MCE and the Buck Institute to develop solar installations that offer consumers the option to go green.”
Also participating was MCE CEO Dawn Weisz: “At MCE, our mission is to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. We’re thrilled to be flipping the switch on the Buck solar project. It’s a perfect example of our shared community values in action – new renewables leading to more jobs and priceless environmental benefits. It’s been a great partnership between the Buck Institute, EDF RE, and Cupertino Electric.”
Brian Kennedy, PhD, Buck Institute president and CEO, commented, “We are extremely excited and grateful to be part of this project. It’s also great that the Buck gets to be part of the solution when it comes to dealing with climate change and the need to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.”
Local jobs during the six-month construction phase were created through Cupertino Electric and the local IBEW. The solar canopy further serves a dual purpose to provide protection to 252 employees’ and visitors’ vehicles to the Buck, demonstrating solar PV’s ability for efficient land use.
EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 8 gigawatts of wind, solar, biomass, and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.