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UC Merced uses sun to go green
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The University of California, Merced welcomed a new 8.5-acre, 1-megawatt solar array this week. Almost 5,000 solar panels will track the sun to provide 20 percent of the campus’ annual electricity needs, rising to two-thirds of the campus’ energy on sunny summer days.
UC Merced officials say the array will save $5 million over the next 20 years. Additionally, more than 45 million pounds of carbon dioxide will be removed from the air over the next 30 years, equivalent to removing 3,600 cars from the roads.
The new solar array was spurred by UC Merced’s “Triple Zero Commitment” to save as much energy as possible, generate as much renewable power as is used, and to offset greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.