There are a number of schools that are reaping the benefits of distributed solar energy. These efforts help schools to reduce their grid energy requirements and reduce their power bills.
As explained by Lou Kwiker, CEO of distributed solar company PsomasFMG, “During a time when many schools and public agencies are dealing with major budget constraints, on-site solar generation through a power purchase agreement is a way to reduce electricity costs.”
Here are five school systems that have integrated solar power:
At the end of 2012, the Greenfield Union School District (GUSD) in Bakersfield, California, completed photovoltaic solar energy projects at ten schools. The projects were developed by Enfinity America and they generated 3.1 million kWh in their first year of operation. The total system size is 1,987 kW, and it uses 7,868 PV panels as manufactured by BenQ Solar. Flat screen monitors that display system performance data are being used as part of a curriculum enrichment program.
Early in 2014, PsomasFMG and Constellation began developing 50 MW of distributed solar power for the California’s schools and municipalities. As of July 2014, four solar projects have been completed or are currently under construction in Southern California. This includes an 878 kW system for Castaic Union School District in Valencia, a 7.6 MW portfolio of systems for Chaffey Joint Union High School District in Ontario, a 1 MW system for Keppel Union School District in Pearblossom, and a 976 kW system for the City of Palmdale. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
In June, 2014, the Rosedale Union School District in Bakersfield, California struck a deal with SunEdison to install, monitor and manage 1.8 MW of distributed solar at the district’s nine schools. The deal is expected to save Rosedale Schools $55,000 Per Year and more than $2 million in energy costs over 20 years.
In September 2014, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the rollout of K-Solar, a program under the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative. This program will help public school districts throughout New York State lower their energy costs with clean, local power. To date, a total of 40 school districts have registered to participate in the program, representing nearly 200 schools in communities across the state. The program will provide schools with the tools, technical expertise and access to financing.
In the UK, Australia-based CBD Energy is currently developing 1.25 MW of rooftop solar installations at 22 schools throughout the UK. Together, the systems will generate an annual output of about 1.09 GWh, representing expected revenues of $7.8 million over the lifetime of the installations. This project will reduce the schools electricity bills by as much as 20 percent. The savings will enable the schools to invest in educational programs.
Make sure to see the article titled, “Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources.” It contains links to over 200 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student’s eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.