California has long been known for its sustainability, but now the state has a new claim to fame in that department. It is home to the nation’s first “grid positive” college! Butte College, located on a 928-acre wildlife refuge in northern California, generates more electricity than it uses, so the school is actually sending power back to the electric grid.
Butte College has 25,000 solar panels, which 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.”
The college’s use of solar electricity has numerous benefits, like improving student offerings, increasing enrollment and training workers in the green energy sector. The biggest impact, though, is financial. According to the school’s website: “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.”
Congrats to Butte College! We hope to see other school’s following Butte’s lead!