Ronald McDonald House

Project Information

System Type: Roof Top
Panel Type: Canadian Solar CS6P-220P
Panel Count: 518
Inverter Type: PV Powered 100kW
System Size: 114 kW

Location Information

City: San Diego
State: California

Ecological Impact

Ronald McDonald's solar power system will produce enough clean electricity to offset any one of the following over the 25 year life of the system:

The carbon sequestered by
seedlings grown for 10 years.
The CO2 emissions from
gallons of gasoline consumed
The CO2 emissions from
bottles of BBQ propane burned.

The first Ronald McDonald House to go solar in California is located atop a parking garage in San Diego.  The structure is not only unique in its location, it is one of the growing number of Ronald McDonald House facilities in the U.S. going "green."

The solar power system is an 114 kW roof-mount photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system at the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego at 2929 Children’s Way in San Diego. Designed by Helio Energy Solutions and financed by Helio Micro Utility, the solar power system contributes to the facility’s USGBC, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.  The “green” building celebrates its one year anniversary in June.

The solar power system consists of 518 Canadian Solar CS6P-220P polycrystalline modules. These modules are among the top-ranked in the industry in PV USA (PTC) ratings, which are quickly becoming universally accepted standards for measuring real-world module energy production and performance.  PV Powered, Inc., an Advanced Energy company, supplied the 100kW inverter. Canadian Solar, Helio Energy Solutions and PV Powered all donated price reductions to benefit the charity.

Located across from world famous Children’s Hospital, the structure sits in a high traffic medical area and provided several unique solar installation challenges.

One of the challenges presented by the structure itself was the existence of tension cables throughout the concrete slabs. Helio Energy Solutions had to conduct extensive x-rays of the concrete floors to find the best location for the inverter.

The Ronald McDonald House of San Diego solar power system will produce an average of 147,846 kilowatt hours (kW/h) per year. The environmental offset is equivalent to curtailing the release of 151,420 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, or planting 554 new trees and sequestering the carbon dioxide over their lifetime.

The solar power system was dedicated on June 30, 2010 in an inspiring ceremony that included a family helped by the Ronald McDonald House.  For photos and a write up of the event see, "The Solar Power Dedication That Brought the Crowd to Tears."