Construction began June 20 on the new solar panels sprouting in Parking Lots A&B at De Anza College, at the corner of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Stelling Road. Patch spoke to Marisa Spatafore, director of marketing, communications and development at De Anza to get answers to common questions about the project.
When will the construction end?
The final phase of construction is scheduled to end on November 11. However, parking will be available when the fall quarter starts on September 26.
Why install solar panels in the De Anza parking lot?
The decision was made as part of the college and district commitment to environmental sustainability.
How will the De Anza community stand to benefit from the installation of these panels?
Students benefit from the overall comprehensive commitment to sustainability evident across campus. Sustainability is a core value of the college, as demonstrated through the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies and its various programs, and the Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) developed by the College Environmental Advisory Group (CEAG). Landscaping using native plants with minimal water needs and the practices of the college's Dining Services operation, including their supplying wholly biodegradable and therefore compostable utensils, plates and cups, also demonstrate that commitment.
In addition, the college supports the recent student initiative to encourage students to take public transit by using the Eco Pass. See http://www.deanza.edu/sustainability/ and http://deanza.edu/ecopass/.
Where does the funding for this project come from?
The funding for this project was obtained through Measure C, which was passed by voters in 2006. The measure granted a $490.8 million bond, which enabled the Foothill-De Anza District to make several structural improvements on campus, including improved disabled access and repaired and expanded classrooms for nurses and paramedics. For more information about the bond, visit http://www.measurec.fhda.edu/.
Will the construction affect the De Anza Flea Market?
There has been virtually no effect on the flea market. The flea market is held the first Saturday of every month and will continue to do so throughout construction.
Will the structures appear on all outdoor parking lots? What changes can the De Anza community expect due to the installation of these panels?
Solar panels are already installed on the roof of the Stelling Parking structure and in a section of Lot C. The panels are expected to produce 1,688 megawatt hours of energy each year. Additionally, the panels in Lots A & B alone are expected to save at least $275,000 annually.
Another added benefit: 10 electric vehicle chargers will be installed, with the capability to install 10 more in the future.
For more information, see the college's web page about the project.