SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly San Luis Obispo now has a 4.5 megawatt solar farm that is expected to generate about 25 percent of the university’s total electrical needs.
The installation dedicated Wednesday is Cal Poly’s first major energy project since announcing a goal of climate neutrality and is expected to save $10 million on utility bills over 20 years.
The 18.5-acre (7.5-hectare) solar farm has more than 16,000 individual solar panels with tracking technology to follow the sun across the sky.
Academic applications include a solar engineering and microgrid laboratory for experiments in solar technology.
Cal Poly’s Animal Science program will use the site to research vegetation management practices for utility scale solar farms by grazing the site with its sheep herd.