Western University of Health Sciences and Washington Gas Energy Systems Inc. unveiled the completion of a solar array system that will generate renewable energy for the University.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at a campus carport system with solar panels erected on a parking lot near Third and Palomares streets on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.

The 672-kilowatt, campus-based project consists of a roof-mounted system of 2,688 solar panels affixed to three buildings: the Health Sciences Center (HSC), Health Professions Center (HPC) and the Banfield Veterinary Clinical Center (BVCC).

“We know that major investments like renewable energy are of the utmost importance,” said Nate Greenberg, business development manager for Washington Gas Energy Systems. “Our hope is that other universities and other entities, other non-profits and businesses throughout California really follow WesternU’s example and help work with us and our partners to increase the use of renewable energy in the state and across the country.”

Greenberg pointed out that WesternU’s project would take the equivalent of about 160 cars per year off the road.

The array is expected to generate approximately 1,110-megawatt hours of solar energy per year, and to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by the University — equivalent to recycling 293 tons of waste instead of sending it to a landfill, according to Washington Gas Energy Systems Inc.

"WesternU welcomes this opportunity to help the environment, reduce the impact of our operations, and lower our electrical costs," said Thomas G. Fox, WesternU’s senior vice president. "Solar panels offer a simple solution, one that makes a strong statement about the importance of a greener planet for a healthier life."

Green Energy Partners developed the project; Conergy managed engineering, procurement and construction.                                          

WesternU Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, said he was delighted that WesternU collaborated with Washington Gas Energy Systems Inc. and was impressed with their vision and foresight.

“This is such a good opportunity for us to be able to enhance what we are doing,” Pumerantz said. “This helps our University develop the right form of energy to help us fulfill our mission.”