Western Ecology Division Laboratory Solar Roof Project
In January 2005, installation of a roof-mounted, 9.5-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) or solar energy array was completed atop the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. The state-of-the-art solar roof will not only supply the facility with clean energy to fulfill up to 5 percent of its electricity consumption, but also serve as a demonstration project for other facilities interested in the rapidly evolving field of solar power technology.
EPA's Western Ecology Division partnered with with the Energy Trust of Oregon , a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency and clean renewable energy in Oregon, which contributed more than 20 percent of the project costs.
Oregon's potential for solar gain is excellent, rivaling parts of Florida during the summer months. The Corvallis facility has a large, flat roof, and the facility wanted a system that would preserve the current roof structure. The laboratory was able to work with the manufacturers to find a system that would involve no penetrations or structural changes to the roof.
The system is designed with a meter to measure the amount of energy produced by the PV array. Depending on the time of year, the PV roof is expected to provide approximately five percent of the entire facility's electricity use.