Representatives from SunPower and the Mount Diablo Unified School District in California acknowledged the completion of 40 solar systems installed across district schools and facilities. By the end of the year, the partnership will see a total of 51 solar systems, representing 12.1MW in capacity, installed across district sites, which will reduce the district’s electricity costs by over US$3 million per year.
The solar projects have been installed on rooftops and as shade structures in parking lots and hard court areas using SunPower solar panels. All 51 systems are expected to be completed and in operation by the end of this year. As part of its partnership with the school district, SunPower will be providing resources to enhance the district’s high school student’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculums beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year.
“With this project, we will eliminate 92% of electrical cost from our general fund in the first year alone and generate additional financial resources from the California Solar Initiative. This will help preserve desperately needed financial resources for our schools and classrooms,” said school board member Gary Eberhart. “Saving our schools' money while reducing emissions is the right thing to do for our students and the environment. We are very excited to team with SunPower to bring the largest K-12 solar project in the country to fruition.”
The Mount Diablo solar projects were finance through Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), which were granted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and paid through a local, voter approved general obligation bond.