PV Solar Project Will Provide Energy, Data for EPRI Study

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and SolarCity®, announced a project to install a 187-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) research system at the institute’s headquarters.

The rooftop system is expected to produce more than 7.3 million kWh over the next 30 years and offset about 11 percent of EPRI’s annual power usage at its four-building research campus. When completed in mid-August, it will be the second largest solar installation in Palo Alto, Calif.

The PV array will facilitate EPRI’s research on a low-carbon generation portfolio in which solar and other renewables, such as wind and biomass, will play an increasing role in the future. It is expected to provide real-time data on electricity generated that will be used to measure the impact of variability on a distribution system. Additionally, it will supply power-quality data that could be used for distribution circuit analysis and assessment of optimized performance levels.

“The SolarCity system will help us better understand distributed resources and how we can reliably integrate them into distribution systems,” said EPRI President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Specker. “This project is a key part of our sustainability program to reduce our carbon footprint and clearly demonstrates how we can address environmental goals in a cost-effective manner.”

The system will be financed through a power purchase agreement with SolarCity.

“Our goal at SolarCity is to make solar a more widely used source of U.S. electricity generation,” said SolarCity Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive. “EPRI’s adoption and study of its solar energy system can teach us important lessons about how solar can complement the utility grid and how best to mitigate the effects of variable weather conditions. We are honored to be selected for such an effort.”

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