The SolarCity PV rooftop system is expected to produce more than 7.3 million kWh over the next 30 years and offset about 11% of EPRI’s annual power usage at its four-building research campus.

EPRI said that the PV array will facilitate its research on a low-carbon generation portfolio in which solar and other renewables, such as wind and biomass, will play an increasing role in the future. It is expected to provide real-time data on electricity generated that will be used to measure the impact of variability on a distribution system.

Additionally, it will supply power-quality data that can be used for distribution circuit analysis and assessment of optimized performance levels.

Steve Specker, president and CEO of EPRI, said: “The SolarCity system will help us better understand distributed resources and how we can reliably integrate them into distribution systems.

“This project is a key part of our sustainability program to reduce our carbon footprint, and clearly demonstrates how we can address environmental goals in a cost-effective manner.”

SolarCity estimates that over the next 30 years, the system will offset the production of more than 4.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide. The system will be financed through a power purchase agreement with SolarCity.