SolarCity to Install New Smart Solar Energy Storage Systems at California Schools

Burton School District, in the heart of California’s sundrenched San Joaquin Valley, will house combined solar and energy storage systems from SolarCity. The district will install solar and DemandLogic, SolarCity’s smart energy storage system for businesses, to generate and store its own clean, renewable electricity at eight schools – the largest combined solar and energy storage installation SolarCity has undertaken to date. DemandLogic will allow the district schools to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to lower peak demand.

solarcitySolarCity will install the district’s solar systems and advanced battery technology at eight elementary and middle schools, as well as additional solar generation at a district office. The solar installations will total more than 1.4 megawatts of clean power capacity, with storage providing an additional 360 kilowatts (720 kilowatt hours) of power to reduce peak demand. The new solar systems are expected to save the district more than $1 million dollars over the life of the contracts, and the DemandLogic battery storage systems could save thousands more on demand charges each year.

“With this remarkable development, Burton School District will not only stand at the leading edge of our country’s clean tech revolution, but will also reap tremendous savings in our fixed-costs at the same time,” said Burton School District superintendent Dr. Sharon Kamberg. “We will use the much needed savings to enhance our educational programs for students.”

Burton School District retained TerraVerde Renewable Partners, an independent energy advisor, to assess and scope an optimal energy cost savings program, analyze financing options, organize the RFP process and help the district select the best candidate to meet the program’s specifications.

The new SolarCity systems are expected to generate 2.3 million kilowatt hours of solar energy annually, and enough over the life of the contract to power more than 4,000 homes for a year. The solar systems will also help avoid more than 43 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and save more than 203 million gallons of water, an especially important environmental benefit in the drought-stricken valley. The entire storage project is expected to be complete by May 2015.

SolarCity DemandLogic can allow schools and businesses to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand. It includes learning software that automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize demand charge savings for customers.

— Solar Builder magazine

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