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Why Solar?

According to the “Guinness Book of World Records”, Yuma, Arizona is the sunniest place on earth. This, along with ample land and access to west coast markets makes Yuma the best place to install the a utility-scale, 5 megawatt, multiple technology, private-public partnership solar array.

Combined with the existing rooftop array on the AWC Agriculture and Science building, the total solar installation at the college will generate enough energy to cover virtually 100% of the college’s daytime energy needs.

The new 4.995 megawatt array will serve as a foundation for local education and workforce development in renewable energy technology and engineering. The main array will be joined by multiple testing and demonstration sites for manufacturers from around the world to test their latest products.

Existing Solar Array

Photo of Rooftop Array, AWC Ag & Science Complex 

Solar Installation Characteristics

  • Energy Generation, Education, Research and Innovation
  • Multiple Photovoltaic Technologies, including
    • Concentrator PV
    • Mono Crystalline
    • Poly Crystalline
    • Thin Film
  • Single and dual axis tracking
  • State-of-the-art metering and inverter technology
  • Private test beds
  • Level playing field - consistent test platform

Curriculum

Currently in place:

  • First Installer Class graduated Spring 2011
  • Green technology embedded curriculum in science, engineering, and career and technical programs
  • AWC is working with local high schools and the local workforce development organization to deliver a weatherization program

Planned:

  • Cutting edge solar technology curriculum that will include the campus PV array and testing facilities as learning laboratories
  • Certificates and degrees in solar technology and solar installation are currently under development with additional classes anticipated to begin spring 2011
  • Associate in science degree in renewable energy with transfer pathways to the baccalaureate degree beginning fall 2011

Campus Map with Planned Solar Deployment

 

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