Cupertino Electric (CEI) installed the 707-kW roof-mounted and parking shade solar structures at its San Jose headquarters during the summer of 2014. The photovoltaic solar system (PV) features three different types of leading, high-efficiency, monocrystalline silicon modules. The installation allowed CEI to compare the different modules in a real-world setting for production, reliability and installation factors.
In addition to analyzing various modules on the project, CEI also tested string inverter technology from three major vendors. Data from the campus solar installation has helped CEI better understand the best technology for its customers. The energy production data generated by the system is collected and analyzed as part of CEI’s existing Solar Technology Evaluation Lab.
The solar carport installation has also positively impacted the 600-plus employees at the location, as the structures offer shade and rain coverage. The underside of the carport canopies features high-efficiency LED lighting.
At the time of installation, the entire system was expected to offset roughly 66 percent of the location’s energy costs, resulting in about $5 million savings over the projected lifetime of the system.
To see real-time updates on the system's performance, visit the PV Dashboard.