In this week’s Solar News Roundup, the Los Angeles Lakers partner with LG to install solar panels, and Tesla looks to set a world record for rooftop solar installations at their Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.
LG and the Los Angeles Lakers partner to power a practice facility
With the installation of 456 solar panels, the Los Angeles Lakers have become the latest professional sports team to look to solar. The UCLA Health Training Center, new headquarters to the Lakers, will now have approximately 16% of its electricity use offset by the new rooftop solar installation. The panels (model 375-watt NeON 2) were provided by LG and installed by Vaha Energy. They project annual savings of around $38,000 for the training center.
In addition to saving the Lakers organization tens of thousands of dollars per year, the rooftop system will deliver significant environmental benefits. Geoff Tomlinson, CEO of Vaha Energy, says that the facility will offset about 12.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year. The solar panels will be roughly equivalent to 6,745 acres of forest in terms of atmospheric carbon reduction.
As one of the leading solar panel manufacturers, LG will likely continue to pursue these types of projects. They will be investing nearly $30 million into a new solar panel manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama which will generate 160 new jobs and produce 500 megawatts of panels per year once the facility is fully operational in 2019.
Tesla will build the largest rooftop solar array in the world on Gigafactory 1
While work at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 continues to hit production snags, the company is moving forward expanding the solar array on their Nevada-based Gigafactory 1, which handles production of their Powerwall electric batteries. After several months of no movement since the installation began in February of this year, Tesla appears to be continuing the project.
Back in January 2017, Tesla announced their plans for a massive rooftop array to power the Gigafactory 1. At the time, the company stated “GF1 is an all-electric factory with no fossil fuels (natural gas or petroleum) directly consumed. We will be using 100% sustainable energy through a combination of a 70 MW solar rooftop array and solar ground installations. The solar rooftop array is ~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today.” 70 MW on one roof is a lot of solar power. If it the project is completed, it will be the largest rooftop installation in the world.