The 707 kW roof-mounted and parking shade solar structures installed by Cupertino Electric (CEI) during the summer of 2014 feature three leading, high-efficiency, mono crystalline silicon PV module types. The rooftop modules were installed side-by-side, allowing CEI to compare production, reliability and installation factors in a real-world setting. In addition to analyzing various modules, CEI is simultaneously analyzing string inverter technology from three major vendors on the project. The data from these findings will help the company better understand the best technology to fit a future customer’s needs.
Installation of the carports have also positively impacted the company’s headquarters, as the structures offer shade and rain coverage for the more than 400 office employees at the site. The underside of the carport canopies feature high-efficiency LED lighting and the entire project took approximately five months, from release to engineering and permitting through PG&E interconnection.
The entire system will offset roughly 66 percent of the company’s current energy costs, resulting in a savings of about $5 million over the projected lifetime of the system. The energy production data generated by the system will be collected and analyzed as part of CEI’s existing Solar Technology Evaluation Lab.
To see real-time updates on the system's performamce, visit the PV Dashboard.