California State University, Long Beach, is installing a 4.8-megawatt carport solar power system at two university parking areas that is projected to offset about 15 percent of the electrical load on campus.

The university says the systems will be installed in Lot 7 on the south side of campus and in Lot 14 in the northwest section of campus. The solar panels are part of the university's efforts to meet its goal of climate neutrality on campus by 2030.

Long Beach State "is proud to support California and the nation in our transition to clean and renewable energy sources to fight climate change and its negative effects on our students, staff and community by increasing our reliance on solar power,” says David Salazar, associate vice president of physical planning and facilities management.

In addition to generating power, the solar carport system at Long Beach State will provide electric vehicle chargers for 50 cars. All of the systems are expected to be operational in 2017.

Long Beach State is working with SunPower Corp. to install the carport systems. The SunPower Helix platform can be installed as a carport, on a roof, or as a ground-mounted system.

The university already has three solar power systems on campus, but this project will by far be the largest solar power system to be installed on the Long Beach campus and within the 23 campus California State University system.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the university's Sustainability Task Force oversees a range of activities to reduce campus environmental impact, including energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable food service, and waste reduction and recycling.