Anaheim, CA – The Anaheim Convention Center has one more feather in its sustainability cap with the October 7 dedication of a new 2.4 MW solar energy system atop Exhibit Halls A, B and C. The array feeds energy to Anaheim Public Utilities customers, including the convention center, and is the largest city-owned convention center roof-mounted system in North America, according to Mike Hall, CEO of Borrego Solar of San Diego, which developed the system.
The installation, completed in late August, is the latest eco-upgrade for the LEED-certified convention center. According to Dukku Lee, General Manager of Anaheim Public Utilities, the system will generate an estimated 3.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually—enough to power 600 homes for a year. “Installing solar on the Convention Center furthers the city’s commitment to renewable energy initiatives,” he said.
The increase in solar power also is expected to offset increasing power demands from all Anaheim electricity customers and meets state requirements for renewable energy. According to the company, the convention center will not see any direct rate reduction as a result of the solar array since the power will be fed into the overall grid. But the city believes the additional power mitigates the likelihood of widespread power outages for the city.
The solar array cost $5.7 million and covers 300,000 square feet of the convention center rooftop with 7,908 solar panels. “We appreciate the partnership with our Public Utilities and welcome this opportunity, which benefits not only our residents, but further enhances the Convention Center’s sustainability program,” said Tom Morton, executive director of convention, sports & entertainment for the Anaheim Convention Center.
Anaheim is not alone in its efforts to enhance sustainability efforts with roof-mounted solar arrays. The Colorado Convention Center improved its LEED rating to Gold during its recertification process with a variety of sustainable operations that included a rooftop solar array. The Los Angeles Convention Center also plans to have solar panels atop the South Hall and Concourse Hall as part of its planned $10 million upgrade. And Amsterdam RAI already has 1,632 solar panels atop its building.
But Anaheim may not boast the largest rooftop system in North America for long. The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas in April announced it would build its upcoming expansion to LEED Gold standards, including the largest convention center array in the world at 3.4MW. Mandalay Bay already added 6.2MWdc atop its current convention center space in August.