Granite Construction announces new solar project

Installation includes six ‘megamodule’ 50 feet tall

(Coachella Valley)  —  Granite Construction in Indio is raising the bar on solar power in the Coachella Valley with a cutting-edge installation that will power the company’s asphalt plant and provide extra electricity to the Imperial Irrigation District.

The company announced the project , using super-efficient concentrated photovoltaic technology, at the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership’s Renewa ble Energy Roundtable at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert campus.

“This particular technology, for our particular larger sites, you can produce more energy on the land,” said Lee Haven, business development manager at Granite. “There’s less disturbance on the land.”

The system is manufactured by Amonix of Seal Beach. The company’s panels use acrylic materials, the same as those used in aircraft windshields, that can concentrate sunlight at 500 times its usual intensity, allowing the, panels to produce more energy on less land.

The Granite project will consist of six pedestals, Haven said, about 50 feet high, mounted with panels about 47 feet tall by 70 feet wide. It will produce about 800,000 kilowatt hours a year, enough electricity to power more than 100 homes, he said.

While Haven declined to discuss the cost of the system, he said Granite could be getting about $782,000 in rebates from IID over the next five years, and the payback period on the project will be about six and half years.

And he said, “It will help reduce the cost of asphalt.”

Wesley Ahlgren of CVEP said the project provides even more diversity to the valley’s growing portfolio of renewable projects.

“It’s cutting edge; it puts us on the map,” he said.

By: K Kaufmann

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