Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vallejo's CA Maritime academy to utilize sun's rays

Maritime academy to utilize sun's rays
By TONY BURCHYNS/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 10/28/2008 09:13:56 AM PDT

PLANNER Roger Jaeckel, left, and California Maritime University President William B. Eisenhardt talk on a hillside looking over the roof of the Upper Residence Hall on the CMA campus where new solar generation panels will be installed. Courtesy photo A California green-energy project that promises to remove the equivalent of the pollution created by 49,000 cars by 2015 will include the deployment of solar arrays atop California Maritime Academy's largest dormitory.
Early planning has begun for the installations, which will be part of an ongoing state initiative to cut by 20 percent the grid-based energy purchases for state-owned buildings by 2015.

"A significant number of our buildings date back to the 1940s when this campus was first established at Vallejo," noted Mark Nickerson, Cal Maritime vice president for administration and finance. "In recent years, we have been systematically upgrading boilers, replacing inefficient windows, and moving to the use of more energy-efficient lighting. It's not glamorous work, but the payoffs in today's climate of soaring energy costs are significant."

The panels will be placed atop the school's largest dorm, the Upper Residence Hall, said Facilities Planner Roger Jaeckel, who is heading up the project working with solar experts.

Under a state competitive bidding process, Maryland-based SunEddison will finance, build and operate solar arrays for the 23-campus California State University system, officials said.

The campuses will buy the energy generated at prices equal to or less than current retail rates.

Len Pettis, chief of plant, energy and utilities for the CSU Chancellor's Office, said the agreements will generate zero greenhouse gases - an offset of almost 9,500
metric tons of carbon dioxide and equivalent to removing nearly 49,000 cars from the road.

"There are numerous opportunities for this campus to save energy," spokesman Doug Webster said. "Especially when you recognize that many of our buildings date back to World War II and the years thereafter."

Other recent retooling efforts include new lights and ballasts, new boilers and a gas-fired, pier-side boiler to heat the school's training ship and water supply.

The school is also conserving water with toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush instead of 3.6.

Said Webster: "Thus we save not only water, but the energy required to bring (the water) to campus."

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