540-kW solar array to be installed on Pittsburgh community college roof

Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will install a 540-kW solar array on campus. The project will be installed by BAI Group.

CCAC project rendering

“This project is a win for the college and for the environment,” said Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer J.B. Messer. “CCAC has no capital or operating expenses — BAI will build, operate and maintain the array, and CCAC will pay for the electricity at a contractually-defined, predictable rate. In addition, our students will be able to use the array to explore concepts in physics, electricity and business.”

The project was facilitated in part by the Pennsylvania Solar Center, which worked with CCAC for several months through its GET Solar (Galvanizing our Energy Transition) program. GET Solar provides technical assistance and financial guidance to entities interested in making the switch to solar power.

“CCAC is setting a new standard in the region for smart innovation and environmental stewardship,” said Leo Kowalski, GET Solar program manager for the PA Solar Center. “This will be CCAC’s third major solar installation, so they’ve been a long-time leader in Pittsburgh for harnessing the power of solar energy. And this time around, with the project being larger in scope and also being their first time executing a Power Purchase Agreement, we were fortunate to help guide them through the process.”

CCAC’s first two arrays of solar panels, installed in 2018, were 15 and 64 kW, and are located at West Hills Center and the Allegheny Campus, respectively. The new 540-kW solar installation will cover the entire roof of CCAC’s North Campus building. The administration also plans to incorporate the installation as a subject of study in CCAC science, technology, business, and accounting classes.

News item from CCAC