Today at Hall District Elementary School in Watsonville, Calif., Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) and SunPower Corp. celebrated the planned installation of 1.2 MW of high efficiency SunPower solar power systems at five district schools. PVUSD estimates that, based on its current utility rates, the solar power generated by the systems will curtail approximately $380,000 of annual electricity costs.
“We expect that these SunPower systems will offset approximately 74 percent of the electricity usage across all five school sites, allowing Pajaro Valley Unified School District to use the savings to support our academic and enrichment programs,” said Brett McFadden, chief business officer of PVUSD. “With proven, reliable SunPower technology, we are maximizing our savings while minimizing the district’s carbon footprint. It is the right thing to do for our students and our community.”
SunPower is installing solar shade structures in parking lots at each of the five district schools, allowing the district to take advantage of underutilized space and provide needed shade. The systems use high efficiency SunPower solar panels, the most efficient panels on the market today. Construction is substantially complete on two of the five systems, including a 63-kW solar shade structure installed at the Hall District Elementary School parking lot. Construction of the three other systems is scheduled to be completed this summer.
“Pajaro Valley Unified School District can rely on its high efficiency SunPower solar systems to deliver guaranteed performance for the next 20 years or more,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “SunPower works with school districts across California to reduce operating costs and channel the savings to the classroom. It is extremely rewarding to deliver needed savings to our public schools with power from the sun.”
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the solar power systems at PVUSD are expected to offset more than 921 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 3,480 cars from California’s roads over the next 20 years.
— Solar Builder magazine