Stanford Solar Generating Station to be designed and built by SunPower

Stanford University has entered into an agreement with SunPower to build a 68-megawatt peak solar plant on approximately 300 acres in California. The solar farm, which will be called the Stanford Solar Generating Station, will be composed of more than 150,000 high-efficiency SunPower solar panels and is expected to provide half of all campus electricity.

Solar Generating Station


Stanford President John Hennessy announced an agreement with SunPower to build a solar plant in California that will be composed of more than 150,000 high-efficiency solar panels. (Photo: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford University)

SunPower has been selected by Stanford to install about 5 megawatts of rooftop solar systems on campus. Together with the Stanford Solar plant, the solar systems will provide about 53% of Stanford’s total electricity use.

The remaining 47% of Stanford’s electricity will come from California grid power, resulting in another 12% of which is renewable. Because about one-fourth of California grid power is renewable (and that will increase to 33% by 2020 under state regulations), Stanford’s total power mix will provide at least 65% clean electricity to campus buildings.

Stanford will use the green electricity produced at both the Stanford solar plant and from installations on campus rooftops, along with the California energy grid, to power campus buildings and the new facility.

Stanford Solar is expected to come online in late 2016.


Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI)

Stanford University has converted to a state-of-the-art energy system that relies on renewable electricity and provides a new transformational energy supply model for large organizations, utilities and governments.

The combined new system – Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) – makes Stanford one of the most energy-efficient research universities in the world. It far exceeds the aggressive goals of California’s AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The renewable energy is joined by a first-of-its-kind campus heat recovery system, which began operating March 24 to heat and cool campus buildings.

In addition to the deep reduction in reliance on fossil fuels, SESI cuts the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 68%, which represents 150,000 tons of CO2 annually or the amount produced by 32,000 cars. It will save Stanford $420 million over 35 years (as compared to a cogeneration option) and will reduce total campus water use by about 15%.

To learn more about the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) project see document below or visit Stanford’s website here.

Download (PDF, 2.06MB)


Source: Press Release by SunPower and News Release by Stanford University. Featured image credit: Stanford and SunPower. Video credit: Stanford University. Image Credit: Linda A. Cicero for Stanford University via Stanford News.