Independent Energy Solutions, Inc. (IES), a firm based in Vista, California, has recently begun design and construction of a 1.15 MW solar photovoltaic system for The Capital Group Companies Irvine Campus. The solar system will be mounted on shade structures on the roofs of three parking garages and will provide nearly 50% of the energy used to power the campus data center and central plant equipment.
The Capital Group strives to provide an environmentally conscious work environment. This commitment, combined with the anticipated energy savings and available tax incentives, drove the organization to invest in solar energy. The Capital Group should benefit within five years from a full return on its investment, which is expected to save the organization more than $14 million in energy costs over the next 25 years.
IES will install approximately 5,472 Kyocera 210 W high-efficiency polycrystalline solar panels at the site, making it the largest solar energy array to date in Orange County. When completed, the system will produce 1.7 million kilowatt hours of power from the sun each year. Using solar power instead of conventional power reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 30,725 tons over the next 25 years, which is the environmental equivalent of 3.8 million miles not driven each year. "We're excited to take this step to make our Irvine Campus even greener, while saving energy and money," said Reid McCartney, vice president of Corporate Facilities for The Capital Group.
IES was selected for the project as the result of a comprehensive process facilitated by EcoMotion, a renewable energy consulting firm based in Irvine. EcoMotion worked with The Capital Group to develop a suitable RFP, distribute it to qualified solar contractors, schedule walk-throughs of the property, and then evaluate responses. "We received a number of very strong proposals," said Ted Flanigan, president of EcoMotion, "and were pleased that the work was entrusted to IES." As solar agent for The Capital Group, EcoMotion provides ongoing advisory services and project support.
Construction began in mid-May 2010 with project completion expected mid- to late summer.