SRP, SunPower dedicate solar power system at Arizona State University

SunPower engineered and constructed the plant on the southeast corner of the ASU Polytechnic campus, and is currently operating and maintaining it

Salt River Project (SRP) and SunPower Corp. are dedicating a 1 MW solar photovoltaic power plant at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus in Mesa, Ariz.

The facility is the first commercial deployment of the SunPower C7 Tracker technology, a solar photovoltaic tracking system that concentrates the sun's power seven times.

SunPower engineered and constructed the plant on the southeast corner of the ASU Polytechnic campus, and is currently operating and maintaining it. The plant is expected to produce an amount of energy equal to that needed to serve about 225 SRP customers' homes and requires minimal water use.

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the system will offset the production of 1,277 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 241 passenger vehicles from Arizona roads each year.

Under a purchase-power agreement, SRP is buying the entire output of the solar plant from SunPower. ASU is purchasing the power from SRP for use at its Polytechnic campus under a separate agreement.

The C7 Tracker combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto high performing SunPower Maxeon solar cells, with an efficiency of 22.8 percent. The 1 MW C7 Tracker power plant at ASU will require only 172 kW of SunPower solar cells when corresponding to a geometric concentration ratio of seven to one and a power-based ratio of six to one.

The ASU solar plant will be the third commercial-scale solar facility in the Valley of the Sun to provide energy for SRP, including the 20 MW Copper Crossing facility in Pinal County that was also designed and built by SunPower. More than 100 schools in 11 Valley school districts are tapping into the power of the sun from that plant to offset a portion of their electric needs through SRP's Community Solar program.

Salt River Project serves about 970,000 electric customers. The SRP Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP's retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020. Currently, SRP is ahead of schedule — providing a little more than ten percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources, which include renewable energy, hydro power, conservation, efficiency and pricing measures.

Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

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