The total system will save Occidental College about $250,000 per year in electricity costs and provide lifetime environmental benefits equivalent to 60 million pounds of carbon dioxide.
LOS ANGELES, April 19 — Martifer Solar USA has completed a 1.142 MW solar PV system, a
one of Martifer Solar USA's most unique installations as it incorporates elements of art into the design of
the system. Kara Bartelt of Lettuce, a Los Angeles architecture firm, conceptualized the unique elliptical
pattern of the hillside portion of the installation.
"The Martifer-built Occidental College solar array is one of several initiatives on campus to respond to
the threat of global climate change," said Dr. Daniel Snowden-Ifft, physics professor and the driving force
behind the project. "It is sustainable from economic, environmental and aesthetic perspectives and as
such, it exemplifies one of our main messages to students—that big problems often require multidisciplinary
solutions. I hope it will inspire our students, our community and others to think outside the
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa enthusiastically endorsed the new approach during a December
campus visit. The array "is truly visionary," the mayor said. "I will task the DWP with doing more of this
kind of thing …This array is a beautiful representation of what a solar array can look like."
The carport portion of the system consists of 1,380 panels, which feature three electric car chargers as
well as an art panel installed on the underside of the array for fire safety. It will allow for shaded parking
for up to 94 faculty and students. The 3,586-panel ground-mount portion of the system was custom-built
by Martifer Solar USA despite uneven terrain, the steep slope of the hillside and wet weather. All of the
163 tables, consisting of 22 panels each, were individually tested for quality assurance prior to being lifted
by a crane for installation on the hillside.
"While our chief goal has always been to reduce the College's dependence on fossil fuels, the time we
spent in developing the array reflects our desire to address solar power in a new, creative way," said
Occidental President Jonathan Veitch. "It represents a new paradigm for arrays as architectural objects
that, like buildings, are expected to contribute aesthetically to their environment."
The total system will save Occidental College about $250,000 per year in electricity costs and provide
lifetime environmental benefits equivalent to 60 million pounds of carbon dioxide.
"We are very proud of this beautiful, landmark installation completed in collaboration with Occidental
College," said Roland Kiser, CEO of Martifer Solar USA. "Despite the initial challenges faced on this
project, we were able to provide the school with a quality, state-of-the-art system that has already proven
to exceed performance expectations."
About Martifer Solar USA, Inc. – Martifer Solar USA, Inc. (Martifer Solar USA) specializes in solar
EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) services. The company has delivered quality solutions
to public and private clients in the United States. Please visit www.martifersolarusa.com.
Martifer Solar USA is a subsidiary of Martifer Solar S.A. (www.martifersolar.com), a multinational solar
developer and installation company with over 400 MW of solar assets installed worldwide and activities in
more than 20 countries over 4 continents.
About Lettuce – Lettuce Office (www.lettuceoffice.com), established in 2004, is a multidisciplinary
design firm partnered by Nico Saez, Kara Bartelt and Michael Chung. Based in downtown Los Angeles,
their projects span the spectrum of environmental design, design research and media. Commercial and
residential projects range from branding and identity development in the entertainment and food service
industries to new custom homes and historic preservation. Their larger interest is in advancing the built
environment via intelligent, efficient design. The office was selected as a ‘10 to Watch' firm by LA
Architect magazine, a past winner of Spark Award and Design Green Award, and most recently its
principal Kara Bartelt received a 2013 "Women on Top" Architecture award from Marie Claire magazine.
About Occidental College – Founded in 1887, Occidental College (www.oxy.edu) is one of the
country's top-ranked liberal arts colleges and one of the few located in an urban setting.