My first reaction was "hey, cool!".
Then I read the details. $800k of photovoltaics putting out 100kW of power. Then the power will be converted to AC, and fed into the grid. It'll provide 6% of the building's power consumption.
Photovoltaics produce DC. Computers use DC. So why not skip the ineffeciencies of inverting then converting it? Create a +12VDC grid, and power it with these solar panels, plus a large, very efficient AC-DC converter for when it's dim out.
But there's a bigger problem here: the sun seldom shines in Buffalo. We're on the leeward side of one of the Great Lakes, which means cloud cover. Plus the panels will be covered with snow several months a year, but never mind that, since we're 43Â° north of the equator and when we do get light, it's dim anyway.
They admit this is a demonstration project and that it would not have made economic sense were it not for a grant from the state. Okay, fine, but then why were we allowed to hire Chevron to do the job? Shouldn't we have made some EE students do it?
Also, this amuses me: "Ironically, a worldwide push to develop alternative energy sources, especially in Europe, has driven up prices for the photovoltaic panels used in solar arrays, as well as components for wind turbines, making some alternative energy sources temporarily even more expensive."
I do hope that the price of solar panels comes down to the point where offices and for-profit entities install them on their roofs. Even if the price were ~10% higher, the difference could be made up by the fact that solar panels generate DC power, which can power computers more efficiently than AC. Sadly, photovoltaics are around two or three times the required price.