Public Sector

Higher
education

Antelope Valley College

Antelope Valley College

The Opportunity

Antelope Valley College, located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, serves a diverse and evolving student population with general education, vocational, and four-year college transfer programs. Like many other community colleges, Antelope Valley College was seeking ways to maintain and improve its facilities without raising student fees. Starting in 2005, OpTerra Energy Services began working with Antelope Valley College to develop a multi-phased program of comprehensive facility upgrades that could be implemented with little impact to the campus operating budget.

The Partnership

OpTerra engineered and installed energy efficiency improvements and a solar photovoltaic power system at the Lancaster campus after tapping in to statewide solar incentive programs to kick-off the energy savings opportunity. Efficiency improvements include a new chilled water plant and energy efficiency controls, lighting upgrades and irrigation control upgrades.

The project was structured to leverage solar incentive payments and energy efficiency rebates as partial funding. Taking advantage of other upgrades already taking place across campuses, OpTerra also helped Antelope Valley implement IT solutions related to improved server and network capacity across campuses. In June 2011, Antelope Valley College celebrated the completion of the comprehensive energy program at its Lancaster campus that generates clean renewable energy, lowers utility costs, and improves classroom environments.

The Impact

Over the course of our long partnership, OpTerra has helped support Antelope Valley’s vision to achieve a fully integrated, multi-phase campus improvement program. From improved lighting to enhanced classroom environments and campus safety, to solar shade structures and the addition of new data center and virtual server technology, Antelope Valley students and staff are benefiting from the college’s new opportunity to leverage energy savings for other education initiatives.

The program is expected to reduce annual electrical utility usage by more than 50 percent and save the college more than $25 million over the life of the project. Environmental benefits translate to nearly 2,200 metric tons of CO2 avoided per year, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered annually by 1,783 acres of average U.S. forest. These carbon offsets support the state’s clean energy goals.

The Technical Scope

  • 1.1-MW solar photovoltaic power generation system mounted on canopy structures in two parking lots
  • New central cooling plant with two 800-ton chillers
  • Campus-wide interior and exterior lighting upgrades
  • New data center to house the main distribution frame, including cost saving virtual server technology
  • Expansion of energy management system and upgrades to existing HVAC controls
  • Irrigation controls upgrades
  • Parking lot improvements
  • Four electric vehicle charging stations