Source: Baja Carports
The Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) in Bakersfield, California has cared for cancer patients for decades. CBCC, now known as the largest freestanding cancer center on the west coast, has benefited from a solar carport system for several years.
The project was built in collaboration between Baja Carports and Cenergy Power and includes 3,762 Hyundai solar modules and Canadian solar string inverters with a total area of almost 78,000 square meters. According to Terri Mierkey, Marketing Manager at Baja, this covers 423 of the CBCC parking spaces and explains why a solar carport makes sense for the cancer center.
“Solar carports cover more space than a roof system. So their production is more, ”she says, adding that CBCC’s existing parking lot was“ perfect ”for this type of project.
While roof panels “fulfill a single function” – generating electricity – according to Mierkey, solar carports not only act as a “power source for the property”, but also offer shade and protection from the elements.
She adds: “A floor mounting system would not have provided a cover for the vehicle shade – the installation would have taken up the required parking space.”
Baja designed and installed the solar roofs for the project, while Cenergy acted as developer and EPC contractor. Nader Yarpezeshkan, Senior Director of Sales and Business Development at Cenergy, points out the myriad benefits of the multipurpose project for CBCC.
For example, he says, “the system reduces most of your local energy overhead.” In addition, it “protects patient cars from the hot Bakersfield sun” and “promotes CBCC’s sustainability goals and has a positive impact on the local community”.
The CBCC parking lot in front of the installation of the solar carport (source: Baja Carports)
With 1.3 MW, the project produces more than 2 million kWh of “local clean electricity” each year, which, according to Yarpezeshkan, equates to offsetting more than 1,400 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
He describes the impetus of the medical center for solar operation and says: “CBCC has focused on reducing the carbon footprint as much as possible.”
Taking into account the “high energy costs with the PG & E trading tariff” and the tax incentives, the decision was “easy from an economic point of view,” he explains.
The Kern County Project went into commercial operation in June 2017 after Yarpezeshkan called a “staggered” construction process to “avoid disruptions to CBCC operations and limit patient parking.”
“Our construction and electrical engineering team had to be methodical in designing the system because of the multiple packages and connection points that added complexity,” he adds. However, the “familiarity of the team with the considerations of all local authorities and the utility company” proved successful in making the project a reality.
Mierkey not only provides shade for cars and electricity for the medical center, but also emphasizes other important facets of the solar carport.
Sometimes, she explains, the “coverage area” of a solar project on the roof can be determined by “the architecture of the building, the mechanical features of the roof, and the surrounding obstacles – e. B. trees, chimneys and other buildings “are obstructed.
On the flip side, the CBCC project – and other solar carports Baja has built – “is optimized to capture everything the sun has to offer during the day,” claims Mierkey.
“When modules are installed on the roof of a building, the roof for the system’s shelf brackets has to be penetrated. If this is not properly sealed, it can cause leaks, ”she adds. “If the roof has to be replaced within the life of the panels, they have to be installed a second time.
“A solar carport system requires minimal maintenance and helps protect the parking lot surface from erosion. This lowers the overall costs for the maintenance and repair of parking spaces, ”she emphasizes.
The continuously growing medical care center has grown from a 1,200 square foot clinic in 1984 to a 70,000 square foot facility in 2019, performing lifesaving work while reaping the environmental, financial, and practical benefits of today’s advances in solar energy.
Source: Cenergy Power