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Roof-top solar panels installed by Local 332, San Jose, California

Part 8:  IBEW Commercial Solar Projects

June 2001 IBEW Journal

IBEW journeymen electricians trained in state-of-the-art PV installation have constructed a number of notable solar-powered public buildings over the past decades.

In Washington, D.C., Georgetown Universitys Intercultural Center features a 337-kilowatt roof-integrated solar system made of 4,464 modules. The south sloping roof produces electricity on-site which is fed into the campus grid. Members of IBEW Local 26 constructed that solar installation in 1984 [See Tech Talk, Photovoltaic Technology: A Renewable Source of Energy for a Wide Spectrum of Uses, Parts I and II, IBEW Journal, Jan.-Feb. and March 1997 issues]. At the time it was constructed, Georgetown Universitys Intercultural Center was the worlds largest rooftop solar electric system fully integrated with the construction, said Strong. It was the largest in the world and held that unique distinction for over a decade.

At the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California, IBEW Local 441 electricians installed a 25-kilowatt solar PV system made of 454 solar modules on an existing towering architectural cube. The Science Center solar array project received the 1999 Award for Electrical Excellence sponsored by the Orange County Chapter of NECA. The electrical contractor for the project was United Electrical, Inc. and the general contractor was United Power, Ltd.

Also in California, in IBEW Local 340s jurisdiction, the Sacramento municipal utility district is leading the country, if not the world, in terms of utility sponsored distributed solar electric systems, said Strong. The utility is fielding hundreds and hundreds of these systems on rooftops in their service territory. And Local 340, of course, has been trained and is installing these systems working closely with the utility.

[ To Part 9 ]