May 2006

 

Silicon Valley’s largest solar system installed by Microsoft
System offsets electrical demand during peak load, reducing impact on environment

Mountain View, CA— Microsoft Corp. announced the installation of a new solar electric system at the company’s Silicon Valley Campus (SVC). It is the largest of its kind in Silicon Valley. Generating 480kW at peak capacity, this system is composed of 2,288 tiles that will supply enough energy to power nearly 500 homes.

Rolling blackouts are sometimes mandated in Silicon Valley during the summer months when power consumption is at its highest. The system is designed to deliver maximum output when the local energy grid is under the greatest strain.

Maintaining an environmentally friendly campus is a priority for Microsoft’s SVC. During the SVC construction phases, Microsoft consulted with the architect on ways to create a “green” design. Some of the initial design features that were implemented include the use of recycled materials in building finishes, drought-tolerant landscaping, and building management systems to proactively monitor and control energy use.

Since the SVC opened in 1999, it has continued to implement environmentally friendly practices, which include the following:

•Replacement of high energy lighting with more efficient lighting.
•Reduction of hours of operation for heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and full lighting.
•Adjustment of set points and efficient operation of HVAC systems.
•Reduction of parking lot ground cover landscaping to reduce irrigation requirements.
•Modification of water timing to improve water effectiveness.

The 480kW solar electric system from PowerLight Corp. of Berkeley, California consists of high-efficiency solar modules that convert sunlight directly into electricity.

 


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