Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Largest Array of Solar Collectors Coming to Perris

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch looks over the array of solar collecting panels at a distribution center in Rialto. The country’s largest rooftop solar collecting grid will soon come to the Whirlpool Corp’s center in Perris
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch looks over the array of solar collecting panels at a distribution center in Rialto. The country’s largest rooftop solar collecting grid will soon come to the Whirlpool Corp’s center in Perris.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and other City officials on Monday toured California’s largest display of rooftop solar panels—a massive arrangement of  more than 26,000 collectors arrayed over 30 acres.
But the warehouse in Rialto won’t hold that distinction for long.

The state’s—and indeed the nation’s—largest array of solar collectors is coming to Perris atop the massive Whirlpool Corp’s. distribution center on the City’s north side.

Construction is set to begin on the Whirlpool center’s 1.7 million square foot roof in December and should be finished next June.
When operational, the 29,600 solar panels will collect and store 10-megawatts of electricity, enough to power 5,000 homes in Perris. The project continues the City’s commitment to “going green” through the use of renewable energy sources.

Perris officials installed solar panels throughout the City Hall Campus five years ago, an effort that reduced electric consumption by 20 percent and is credited with removing nearly 5 million pounds of greenhouse-emissions-causing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The City also provides low-cost loans and grants to residences and businesses that install energy-efficient appliances, light fixtures and irrigation systems.

Solar panels like these will collect and store enough energy to power 5,000 homes in Perris
Solar panels like these will collect and store enough energy to power 5,000 homes in Perris.

“We are committed to making use of clean energy,” Busch said as he walked the roof of the Rialto warehouse. “We encourage developers to accommodate solar panels in the planning process when they are building in Perris.”
Busch said the Hanebrands warehouse, another huge distribution center that incorporates many aspects of green technology, is capable of installing solar panels on its roof in the future.

David Chiang, Southern California Edison’s project manager of photovoltaic programming, said the company is delighted to come to Perris and begin work at the Whirlpool Center, located at Perris Boulevard and Morgan Street.

Engineers have already inspected the building’s roof and determined that it can hold the weight of the solar panels, which will begin collecting solar energy  right after sunrise and continue throughout the course of the day. Solar energy can even be collected during cloudy days.

All of the electricity collected by the solar array will be returned to Edison’s grid.

The City team that inspected the solar array: Public Works Manager Daryl Hartwill, Planning Manager Clara Miramontes, Mayor Daryl Busch and Assistant City Manager Ron Carr
The City team that inspected the solar array: Public Works Manager Daryl Hartwill, Planning Manager Clara Miramontes, Mayor Daryl Busch and Assistant City Manager Ron Carr.

Edison is leasing the rooftop for 20 years as part of the arrangement with Whirlpool. Work at the Whirlpool center will go on as usual while construction crews attach the solar panels to the building’s 40-acre roof.
Representatives of the Whirlpool center say they are eager to take part in the solar-collecting project because it helps their sustainability as a company.

Chiang called the Whirlpool solar array “our company’s marquee project.”

Southern California Edison has installed rooftop solar collectors on 17 buildings. The program is part of the company’s state-ordered mandate to generate one-third of its electricity through renewable sources by 2020.

“We are definitely looking forward to beginning work in Perris,” he said.

Besides Mayor Busch, other City of Perris officials who toured the Rialto site Monday included Assistant City Manager Ron Carr, Planning Manager Clara Miramontes and Public Works Manager Daryl Hartwill.