OCOTILLO (February 15, 2013) - The Imperial Valley College Desert Museum Society had dreamt of a new museum for decades, one that would focus on the commitment to long-term preservation of artifacts collected in the Imperial Valley. That vision has finally come to fruition with the completion of construction on the museum building, which will soon have a 37,644 WAC solar array on its roof installed by Sullivan Solar Power, a leading Southern California renewable energy company.
“One of the best resources we have in the Imperial Valley today is sunshine. It seemed like a win-win situation to develop a solar project at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum to produce long-term electricity, and at the same time, use the rooftop solar array to educate the public,” said Neal V. Hitch, Director of the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.
In one hour the sun casts enough energy on the Earth's surface to provide the entire world with electricity for one year, yet less than one percent of our energy comes from the sun. Through education and company sponsored community incentives, Sullivan Solar Power has been leading the solar energy revolution throughout Southern California, supporting over 1,700 residential, commercial and municipal clients in their efforts to obtain energy independence while supporting our local and national economies.
“I applaud the Desert Museum for setting an example by implementing and teaching the community about sustainable practices,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power, “Adding solar power information to the museum's already impressive exhibits will further enhance the education received by the schools and general public who visit. This information will engage the community and educate everyone on how to be less dependent on foreign fossil fuels and to create a sustainable future.”
The Desert Museum's average electric bill has been $1,000 per month since opening in 2011, with huge spikes last summer due to air conditioning. The solar array will be on the museum's roof top, which will consist of 180 245-watt photovoltaic modules and two Power-One inverters, and it will assist with offsetting roughly 60 percent of the Museum's bill. The solar array will also ensure that there aren't drastic spikes in future electric bills.
As part of the compensation mitigation for impacts to cultural resources from the Sunrise Powerlink, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) funded this solar project. This funding is in addition to an internship and museum display that were funded for the Desert Museum. Support for the Museum developed out of the Sunrise Powerlink Native American consultation process during which Tribal representatives expressed a desire to maintain artifacts from Sunrise and other regional projects in a local repository.
While the museum opened its doors in 2011, many projects and programs are still being refined. One of the museum's goals is to preserve and interpret what is going on in the desert and share it with its visitors. A weather station exhibit will allow museum visitors to see the weather conditions at the museum in real time as related to solar power production and energy conservation. To aid in this, Sullivan Solar Power will install a Locus monitoring display of the solar array's production. The monitoring display will be exhibited for museum guests to learn about the production of renewable energy from the solar panels. The anticipated annual energy production is 68,179 kWh, which will be broken down by day, month year and the lifetime of the system on the monitoring site display.
“Our experience with Sullivan Solar Power has been fantastic - the team that we worked with has been absolutely great,” said Hitch, “I had thought that solar was new and untested, where in fact everything I received from Sullivan Solar Power and have read has informed me that this is not the way of the future, it's today.”
While it's taken many years for the Imperial Valley Desert Museum Society to develop their ideal museum, the finish line is in reach and the Desert Museum is coming in strong.
About Sullivan Solar Power
Sullivan Solar Power is a turnkey solar system provider that delivers solar electric projects from concept to completion. The company has installed over 14,000,000 watts of solar power ranging from small-scale residential to large-scale commercial and municipal systems. Sullivan Solar Power is headquartered in San Diego, CA and owned and operated by Dan Sullivan. Sullivan Solar Power has a longstanding A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau, with no complaints filed since the business began. The firm has been named one of the fastest growing energy companies in the nation by Inc. Magazine for three consecutive years and services all of Southern California. Regardless of project size and scope, Sullivan is committed to delivering the best products and the most qualified professionals to its customers. Visit www.sullivansolarpower.com for more information.
About Desert Museum
The Imperial Valley Desert Museum Society, Inc. has been working toward constructing a new museum to house the extensive archaeological collections of the Imperial Valley Community College since the Society was incorporated as a nonprofit in January of 1972. After decades of advocating and fundraising, the Society developed a business plan, adopted in October 2006, and completed the construction of a brand new facility in October of 2008. In January 2011, the facility opened with the goal of being an active, community-focused museum. For more information about the Imperial Valley Desert Museum, visit http://www.ivdesertmuseum.org.