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, monocrystalline 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 has helped CEI better understand the best technology to fit a future customer’s needs.
The solar carport installation has also positively impacted the company’s headquarters, as the structures offer shade and rain coverage for the more than 600 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 offsets roughly 66 percent of the location’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 is 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.