SRP, SunPower dedicate solar power system at Polytechnic campus

April 5, 2013

Salt River Project (SRP) and SunPower Corp. have dedicated a one-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant at the ASU Polytechnic campus. The facility is the first commercial deployment of the SunPower C7 Tracker (C7 Tracker) technology, a solar photovoltaic tracking system that concentrates the sun’s power seven times to achieve one of the lowest levelized costs of electricity for solar power plants available today.

SunPower engineered and constructed the plant on the southeast corner of the ASU Polytechnic campus, and is currently operating and maintaining it. The plant is expected to produce an amount of energy equal to that needed to serve about 225 SRP customers’ homes and requires minimal water use. According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the system will offset the production of 1,277 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 241 passenger vehicles from Arizona roads each year. Download Full Image

Under a purchase-power agreement, SRP is buying the entire output of the solar plant from SunPower. ASU is purchasing the power from SRP for use at its Polytechnic campus under a separate agreement.

“At SRP we continue to look for new and innovative ways to diversify our portfolio with sustainable sources of energy that best serve our customers in a cost-effective way,” said John Sullivan, SRP’s chief resource executive.  “SunPower’s C7 Tracker system is a promising technology that we expect to provide these benefits.”

The C7 Tracker combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto high performing SunPower Maxeon® solar cells, with an efficiency of 22.8 percent. The 1-megawatt C7 Tracker power plant at ASU will require only 172 kilowatts of SunPower solar cells when corresponding to a geometric concentration ratio of seven to one and a power-based ratio of six to one.

“The SunPower C7 Tracker leverages SunPower’s depth of experience developing reliable tracking systems and delivers bankable technology with guaranteed performance,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “We applaud our partners on this project in selecting this advanced technology platform that will deliver cost-effective renewable energy in Arizona for the long-term.”

“This dynamic project with SunPower enables ASU to move closer to our 2015, 25-megawatt solar energy-generating goal, embrace innovative technologies, and facilitate possible education opportunities for our students,” said David Brixen, ASU’s associate vice president of Facilities Development and Management.

The ASU solar plant will be the third commercial-scale solar facility in the Valley of the Sun to provide energy for SRP, including the 20-megawatt Copper Crossing facility in Pinal County that was also designed and built by SunPower. More than 100 schools in 11 Valley school districts are tapping into the power of the sun from that plant to offset a portion of their electric needs through SRP’s Community Solar program.

Media contacts:
Patty Garcia-Likens
, 602.236.2588, SRP media relations
Ingrid Ekstrom
, 510.260.8368, SunPower Corp.

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


More than 12,000 set to graduate May 8, 9 at spring commencement

April 5, 2013

General Dempsey to give keynote speech

More than 12,000 students are set to have their degrees conferred at the Arizona State University commencement ceremonies on May 8 and 9. Download Full Image

The graduate commencement ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m., May 8, in Wells Fargo Arena. The undergraduate commencement ceremony is set to take place at 7:30 p.m., May 9, in Sun Devil Stadium. 

General Martin E. Dempsey will be the official speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. 

Dempsey serves as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. By law, he is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. Prior to becoming Chairman, the general served as the Army’s 37th Chief of Staff.

Dempsey’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge. In addition to his master’s degree in English, he holds master’s degrees in military art and in national security studies.  

ASU will also award honorary degrees to Janine Benyus, Clayton Christensen and Juan Ramon de la Fuente for their groundbreaking research in their respective fields. 

Janine Benyus will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, for her groundbreaking work specializing in biomimicry. Benyus has authored six books and co-founded the world’s first bio-inspired consultancy, whose clients include Nike, Boeing and Colgate-Palmolive. In 2006, Janine co-founded a nonprofit institute to embed biomimicry in formal education and informal spaces such as museums and nature centers.

Clayton Christensen will receive the Doctor of Science honoris causa. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School, and is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. Christensen is the best-selling author of eight books and more than a hundred articles, including the recently released and New York Times best-selling, How Will You Measure Your Life? The Innovator’s Dilemma. He is also the founder of four successful companies.

Juan Ramón de la Fuente, M.D., will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa. As a faculty member at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, De la Fuente engineered several new research centers that specialize in diverse disciplines, strengthened a new model for education and created new undergraduate curricula and graduate programs. His research on alcohol abuse led to the design of a tool of universal validity for the reliable identification of this problem from its early stages. This tool has been was adopted by the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization and the U.K. Institutes for Clinical Excellence.  

Below are just some of the graduation highlights:

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will send 259 aspiring new journalists into world. This includes four master’s degree students, 235 bachelor degree recipients and 20 BA/MMC students.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Tempe campus will proudly graduate 2,687 undergraduate students and 328 graduate students. Within the college, the Department of English will confer 202 degrees, the School of Life Sciences 326 students and Psychology 323 students.

The Teachers College at the West campus will say goodbye to 1081 students. This includes 566 graduate students and 515 undergraduates. On the other side of the valley, the College of Technology and Innovation at the Polytechnic campus will have 394 new alumni.

Free parking will be available throughout the Tempe campus, except for metered spaces and residence hall lots. Parking information for commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found here:

For information, visit