What is being called the largest K-12 school-district solar and energy efficiency project in the U.S. was dedicated today by the San Jose Unified School District, Chevron Energy Solutions, and Bank of America in ceremonies at Willow Glen Middle School and High School in the Northern California city.
The project, which was completed on time and within budget, includes a total of 5.5 MW of solar power at 14 district sites. The district expects its energy costs to be reduced by more than 30% and to save its general fund more than $25 million over the 25-year life of the project.
Chevron Energy Solutions designed, built, and operates the solar PV arrays for the district. The Chevron unit, which claims to be the nation’s largest installer of solar systems for educational institutions, also provides maintenance for the system and measures and guarantees its performance.
Bank of America, through the Banc of America Public Capital Corp. Energy Services team, owns the solar equipment and sells power to the district under a service contract at set rates significantly below market utility rates, providing the district savings and energy cost predictability. The California Solar Initiative and other incentives offset the overall cost of the program by more than $11 million.
The district says it will reduce its purchase of utility power through this program, which is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 100,000 metric tons. Students within the school district will also have a chance to learn first-hand about energy use and the solar power generated on their campus with the aid of interactive kiosks.