A showcase of sustainability – pv magazine USA


The 2.4 MW rooftop solar panel provides approximately 17% of the convention center’s energy needs and, when not in use, supplies power to nearby neighbours.

RE+ is taking place this week in a solar and sustainable development showcase. The Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California is LEED certified and features a 2.4 MW rooftop solar system that was completed in 2014 at a cost of $5.7 million. The system was installed by Borrego Solar and is owned and operated by Anaheim Public Utilities. At the time of installation, it was the largest city-owned convention center roof system in North America. It currently provides approximately 17% of the convention center‘s energy and, when not in use by the center, electricity is transmitted to nearby neighbours.

According to Mark Brownrigg, manager of the Solar Advantage rebate program at Anaheim Public Utilities, the main incentive to build this system was to add to the standard of the utility’s renewable energy portfolio. Senate Bill X1-2, which was signed into law in April 2011, required Anaheim Public Utilities to supply 33% of retail energy needs with renewable energy sources by 2020. Brownrigg said this system Solar photovoltaic contributes 1.5% to this objective.

The Anaheim Convention Center has approximately 550,000 square feet of roof space available across four exhibit halls. Solar now covers about 300,000 square feet across three halls, or about 55%. The expansive roofs provide an excellent opportunity for Anaheim utilities to meet some of the goals of the state-mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard now, with the potential for expansion in the future. Brownrigg said the utility is “investigating the feasibility of building more distributed generation facilities in our utility district, which may include expanding the solar photovoltaic system located at the Anaheim Convention Center in the future.” .

Borrego Solar was able to complete the installation within the four months they had budgeted for the project. The biggest challenge was the fact that the convention center had a full schedule of trade shows. Borrego’s project management team therefore had regular meetings with convention center staff to coordinate work around the events taking place in the exhibition halls. Managing a team of up to 60 people at a time was no small task, but with regular communication and flexibility, they avoided interfering with convention center operations, while remaining focused on the task and finishing on time.

During its first year of operation, the installation generated 2.52 GW of energy, or 17% of the energy needs of the Palais des Congrès.

The facility uses Sunlink Core RMS racking for the nearly 8,000 Yingli solar panels (300W). Two Advanced Energy 500NX inverters supply the power electronics.

The Anaheim Convention Center is a model of sustainability, not only for its rooftop solar, but also because it has implemented a series of initiatives, including an on-site recycling program, a culinary program farm-to-fork, an on-site composting facility and a rooftop garden. .

A kiosk with monitoring information is displayed in the lobby of the convention center, allowing visitors to the convention center to see graphical representations of the amount of energy generated by the rooftop facility. In terms of environmental benefits, the annual carbon dioxide offset is 4.9 million pounds and the amount of clean energy generated is equivalent to taking 526 passenger vehicles off the road or planting 2,050 acres of trees per year. . The system is expected to generate 108.3 million kWh over 30 years of production.

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