Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corp., and Santa Monica College recently completed an energy efficiency project that included these solar panels. The project is expected to save the college more than $14 million and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,500 metric tons. (photo by Santa Monica College)

BY DAILY PRESS STAFF

SMC — Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corp., and Santa Monica College will hold a dedication ceremony on Oct. 29 for a newly completed solar and energy efficiency project, which is expected to save the college more than $14 million over the life of the project.

The project includes a 408-kilowatt solar system, which provides electricity through solar panels located on the top level of two parking structures that is generating power for the two garages and a significant portion of the Business Education Building. Chevron Energy Solutions designed, engineered, installed and operates the solar system and maintains and guarantees the system’s performance. SMC has also improved its energy efficiency through a campus-wide lighting retrofit, variable speed drives, new heating hot water boilers, fire alarm system and emergency circuit upgrades that were also installed by Chevron Energy Solutions, college officials said.

“We are committed to academic excellence, global responsibility and educational, environmental and economical awareness,” said Dr. Chui L. Tsang, president of SMC. “Our collaboration with Chevron Energy Solutions allows us to reduce the amount of energy used and lessen our college’s carbon footprint.”

Through the energy efficiency improvements and use of solar, SMC is reducing its purchase of utility power, which is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,500 metric tons, equivalent to preserving 13 acres of forest from deforestation each year, college officials said. The project is paid for exclusively by energy savings on utility bills.

The $3.6 million project generates approximately 50,660 kilowatt hours each month and is saving the college about $8,100 month, according to SMC.

“The comprehensive energy efficiency and solar project at Santa Monica College is an example of how budget relief can be maximized by combining energy efficiency with renewable power,” said Dave Stone, senior vice president for Chevron Energy Solutions. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Santa Monica College on this project.”

The dedication ceremony will be held on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. under the solar panels on the top level of Parking Structure 3, located on Pico Boulevard at 17th Street.

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