October 20, 2013

Largest College PV System in North America was designed by KMB Design Group and generates 8.5MW of Solar Power


KMB Design Group is pleased to announce that the 8.5 Megawatt PV Solar ground mount located at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, New Jersey is now operational.

Steve Schwerd, Partner and VP of MEP Engineering stated, “We are proud of the final product that is believed to be the largest college PV system in North America, which will save Mercer County Community College approximately $750,000 per year while helping the community and the state with sustainability goals.”

Working with the EPC PowerPartners Mastec and the developer SunLight General Capital, KMB provided full service engineering work from concept through approvals and construction for the PV array at this College Campus.  Services included PV Design and Layout, Electrical and Structural Engineering, Land Survey, Geotechnical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering.  The engineering also included modifications to the campus medium voltage switchyard, necessary for the interconnection at 27kV.

This impressive installation is run by 17 Solectria Smart Grid 500kW inverters being powered by 39,522 Shott 240 watt Polycrystalline modules mounted on a typical post driven Schletter racking system.  The array covers just over 45 acres of land on the campus grounds consisting of excess land on the outskirts of a parking lot continuing through an open field on the property.  This system is designed to offset approximately 87% of the total electricity consumption of the County Campus, lessened the impact on the College and community as a whole.

There were a few design restrictions that had to be worked around in order to make the array the most effective for the College.  A  few in particular included, a designated untouchable wet lands area, challenging shading, as well as a  Sunoco pipeline with easement and buffer requirements that ran through the middle of the field.  Even with these obstructions and challenges KMB Design group was able to design a system that is extremely efficient and supplies the campus with 8.5MW of renewable power.