Butte College first to generate all electricity from renewables

Butte College in California became the first college in the United States to go ‘grid positive,’ meaning that it will generate more electricity from its solar arrays than it consumes and will deliver power back to the electric grid.

Butte College, located near Sacramento and resting on a 928 acre wildlife refuge, will see significant cost savings from its solar arrays. The college estimates that it will save between $50 million and $75 million over 15 years, even after accounting for project costs and interest, by eliminating its electricity bill, getting paid for excess electricity production, and avoiding future electricity rate increases.

Butte College now operates a total of 25,000 solar panels that will generate over 6.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power over 941 average-sized homes, or the equivalent of removing 615 passenger cars from the roadways.