Cal Poly Pomona is celebrating becoming carbon neutral at its 16-acre John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies with an event called “Plug into the Sun: Green Light to Carbon Neutral.” The milestone was made possible by the installation of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar energy systems from California-based Amonix, Inc., the recognized leader in designing and manufacturing CPV solar systems for sunny and dry climates and a 12-year partner of the Lyle Center.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent his congratulations, saying, “California is leading the nation with our comprehensive energy policy that is reducing our reliance on foreign oil and creating jobs. These types of projects promote the growth of clean, reliable energy in our communities, and I applaud Cal Poly Pomona and Amonix for their commitment to renewable solar energy generation. It is great partnerships like this one between a California-based company and a world-renowned university that will keep California a leader in this booming industry.”
The Lyle Center plant will use two Amonix CPV solar systems to generate 210,000 kW hours of clean, renewable energy annually, displacing 85 metric tons of greenhouse gases – the equivalent of planting 53 acres of trees. The solar systems will meet the Lyle Center’s energy demands without generating greenhouse gas emissions and will save the university $30,000 a year in reduced energy purchases. The systems replace a 16kW Amonix system at the center that was installed in 1998.
The Lyle Center is a leader in Cal Poly Pomona’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2030. The university’s climate action plan calls for additional on-site power generation, improvements in energy efficiency, programs to reduce emissions by commuters, and further integration of climate change into curricula, research and outreach.
“The university has an ambitious but realistic agenda for climate neutrality, and the Lyle Center is at the center of this vision,” said university President Michael Ortiz. “This vision would not be possible without corporate partners like Amonix.”
Since 1994, the Lyle Center has been a leader in advancing the principles of environmentally sustainable living through education, research, demonstration and community outreach. Several thousand people visit the Lyle Center each year to learn about sustainable living and see demonstrations of sustainable technologies. Students in the center’s graduate program in regenerative studies tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century, including climate change.
“Generating 100% of our own energy from renewable resources has always been a goal of the Lyle Center,” said Kyle D. Brown, director of the Lyle Center. “This partnership with Amonix enables the center to continue its leadership on sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.”
Brian Robertson, CEO of Amonix, also praised the partnership. “Over the past 12 years, our partnership with the Lyle Center has helped advance Amonix CPV solar technology from 16 kW to 72 kW per unit – a nearly 5x improvement,” Robertson. “This increased efficiency is one of the reasons Amonix CPV solar systems are being commercially deployed successfully today. We commend Cal Poly Pomona and its Lyle Center for its vision in seeking a sustainable future through on-site solar energy generation and its commitment to being a role model for other colleges and universities going green.”
(Middle photo: Vahan Garboushian, founder and chairman of Amonix, speaks during celebration event on Sept. 30. Bottom photo: President Michael Ortiz speaks the ceremony.)