Construction was completed in June of 2004. The general project design consists of 6 ½ acres of ground mounted Sharp Electronic solar modules and a free standing concrete building that will house the inverters, distribution equipment and allows for student laboratory space.
At a cost of $9.2 million, Cerro Coso’s installation is believed to be the largest PV array of any community college in the nation, with more than 6,100 PV panels capable of producing 959 kilowatts.
On a sunny day, Cerro Coso’s PV array can supply enough electricity to meet most of the needs of the campus, which serves 2,700 students. SCE will augment or provide backup power for those times when the array does not fully meet the school’s electricity needs. In addition to the $4.3 million the district receives through the program, school administrators estimate an annual cost savings of approximately $250,000 in energy costs.