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Press Release

Non-profit Black Rock Solar builds 2.5 megawatts of solar power across Nevada

Published on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 (9:37 a.m.)

State Education System Benefits Top $15 Million

(Reno, Nevada) – With the recent completion of its solar array at Rite of Passage Silver State Academy in Yerington, Reno-based non-profit Black Rock Solar has now built 2.5 megawatts of solar power capacity across the state of Nevada. The 52 clean energy projects built by Black Rock Solar in the five years since the it was started in 2007 include 18 arrays for schools and colleges, with estimated savings on their electricity bills of $15 million over the next 25 years.

"Our goal is to speed up the adoption of clean energy while saving money for cash-short communities, schools and non-profits," said Black Rock Solar Executive Director, Patrick McCully. "We are particularly proud to hit the 2.5 megawatt milestone at Rite of Passage. This $1.2 million array is the largest we’ve built so far, and we helped provide valuable work experience to the school’s students who built the 18 car ports on which we mounted our solar panels.”

The 250 kilowatt array will provide electricity to the school for decades to come, saving it more than $32,000 a year.

"The savings from the array during the first year alone will let us divert thousands of dollars back into our student programs and services," said Rite of Passage Executive Director Lawrence Howell. "And the experience gained from working with Black Rock Solar has made our students and staff feel like an integral part of the project, teaching new skills and exposing them to new technology."

Earlier this summer Black Rock Solar installed 100 kW of photovoltaic power at the Desert Research Institute in Reno and another 50 kW at neighboring Truckee Meadows Community College. The arrays were built at zero cost to the institutions, both of which participated in NV Energy's Solar Generations rebate program.

"Black Rock Solar was great," said Teresa Golden, TMCC Project Manager. "They evaluated our needs at several sites and made the process go extremely smoothly. The array on the Vista Building is visible to everyone who visits campus or attends classes, and that makes a statement about TMCC's commitment to renewable energy and sustainability."

Other Black Rock Solar school projects include Lovelock Elementary, Rainshadow Community Charter High School, University of Nevada Reno, College of Southern Nevada, and Western Nevada College.

Pyramid Lake High School in Nixon has been the recipient of four clean energy systems, enough to offset nearly 100% of campus electricity consumption. In total, Black Rock Solar has built nearly half a megawatt for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

"The savings from these projects are definitely increasing our ability to provide more services in other areas – language programs, our museum, parks and recreation, and elder services," said Tribal Vice Chairman Mervin Wright. "We can now focus resources on those important areas rather than on paying electricity bills.”

Black Rock Solar ‘s current projects are a 206 kW array for Nevada State College in Henderson, and a 50 KW array for Hillside Elementary School in Lockwood.

About Black Rock Solar

Black Rock Solar is a Reno based 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on speeding the adoption of clean energy through installation, energy efficiency, education, and job training. By installing solar at low or no cost for schools, tribes, rural communities, and other non-profits, Black Rock Solar puts much needed funds into the hands of those who need it most.


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