Mark Andersen, Emerging Technologies Project Manager, and Samir Sahasrabudhe, Renewables Coordinator, check on the installation of bifacial solar panels on the Gardenia Innovation & Operations Center’s white reflective roof.

A bifacial solar array that’s being installed on the roof of the Gardenia Innovation & Operations Center can generate up to 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity for the main office building. Headed by Samir Sahasrabudhe, Renewables Coordinator, the project is expected to be completed in early March.

The rooftop bifacial solar array will generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity.

Once it’s operational, the solar array will be capable of turning sunshine into energy from both sides of its 250 photovoltaic (PV) panels, with the bottom surfaces capturing sunlight bouncing off Gardenia’s reflective white roof. The renewable energy system could generate about 157,390 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, offsetting 120 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The array’s generating capacity will not fully power Gardenia’s main office when the building is at its highest electricity usage. But when the facility’s electricity use is low, any excess solar generation will be sent to the grid.

OUC’s Emerging Technologies team will study the new array’s cost-benefit data to see how bifacial solar compares with the other two types of solar applications at Gardenia – single-sided and floating. Gardenia’s main parking lot is sheltered by overhead solar panels and an onsite pond is home to a 64 kW floating system.