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The projects, which are funded in part from the energy savings they create, reduce the district's operating costs while lowering demand for power from the local utility, which in turn benefits the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The district's reduction in purchased power from the local utility translates to avoided local carbon dioxide emissions of more than 14 million pounds per year, equivalent to planting more than 2,000 acres of trees.
The Kirsch Center, the Science Center, and the Student and Community Services Center at De Anza College are constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standards. The Science Center opened in fall 2004, and the Kirsch Center and Student and Community Services Center will open for the upcoming fall quarter.
The projects were designed, engineered, and constructed by Chevron Energy Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp. that provides energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable power projects for public institutions throughout the United States.
"As a result of these improvements, the district is able to significantly reduce its electricity purchases while helping the environment," said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. "We're delighted to have partnered with the district in projects that promote sustainable development." The latest improvements at the colleges included eight 60-kilowatt Capstone microturbines (four at each campus) that produce electricity plus heat recovery systems that heat each campus pool efficiently, and PowerLight solar photovoltaic-paneled parking structures that provide shade and together generate 301 kilowatts of electricity. In total, the cogeneration and solar systems can produce enough electricity to power more than 700 homes.
The $5.1 million total cost of the cogeneration and solar projects was offset by $2 million in rebates from the state of California. The remainder is being paid from the energy savings resulting from the new equipment and Measure E construction bond funds.
For more information, visit www.chevronenergy.com.
Publication date: 08/22/2005