A 23-acre solar installation at Arizona Western College (AWC) in Yuma, Ariz. being monitored for performance by AlsoEnergy was recently recognized with the PV Project of Distinction award at PV America West. The project brings together five distinct PV technologies and is the first of its kind in the country to combine workforce development with financial and performance monitoring for utility-scale integration.
The 5-MW multi-technology installation at AWC was recognized by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Solar Electric Power Association as one of the three most distinct photovoltaic projects of 2012. The announcement and ceremony took place at PV America’s annual conference in San Jose, Calif.
A subsidiary of Main Street Power will own and operate the photovoltaic system for the next 30 years, saving AWC an estimated $62 million based on current electricity rates. This landmark system is composed of five one-megawatt sites across the campus, and will offset nearly 100 percent of the campus’ daytime electricity.
The PV Project Distinction Awards celebrate major achievements in the United States solar energy industry. Winners were selected by the size of impact they make on the industry. This is the second year of this award, which is presented annually at the PV America show.
AlsoEnergy joined APS, Main Street Power and AWC in the 5MW installation. The system integrates solar installation, management and metrics into the school’s solar technology degree programs. AlsoEnergy provides sophisticated monitoring, diagnostics and power plant control, as well as product and system testing for solar technologies.
“This is an important program that will measure the panel-to-portfolio effectiveness of various products and system combinations,” said AlsoEnergy CEO, Robert Schaefer. “We’re proud to be part of this effort to develop the data and methodologies that will help train the next generation of leaders and innovators in the renewable energy industry.”
The system employs PowerTrackTM performance monitoring software developed by AlsoEnergy to provide complete utility scale site management that monitors and gauges solar array power productivity, financial metrics and operational efficiencies. This data analysis will help establish industry standards, product combinations and protocols for a growing international market.
Power-Track provides on-demand monitoring service that allows AWC to achieve system visibility and retrieve site information from anywhere in the world. Users can view the performance of the entire site instantly and over extended periods, or scrutinize more granular information from a site area, single rooftop, or string of panels. This information allows AWC students, faculty and facility managers to react to and measure changing conditions of each solar site. This granular control over every component in the array – from a single string, to the inverter, to the power delivered to the grid – allows for quick identification of performance issues.