School systems continue to be high adopters of solar energy. This week Porterville United School District (PUSD), located in California, has begun generating electricity from its 3.7 megawatt solar system. Installed across six schools, the system in its entirety has the capacity to reduce the district’s electricity costs by nearly $44 million over the next 25 years.
“This project will allow Porterville Unified School District to significantly reduce our electricity costs at the schools receiving these systems and recover valuable funds needed for our academic programs,” said Superintendent Dr. John Snavely. “By partnering with SunPower, we are maximizing our savings as well as the District’s use of clean, renewable energy. It is the right thing to do for our students and our community.”
The solar system, featuring SunPower solar panels, has two major components: ground-mounted solar arrays and solar shade structures in school parking lots. The solar systems were financed through Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs), allowing the district to own the systems and receive the full benefit of the energy cost savings and incentive payments.
“Porterville Unified School District can rely on its high efficiency SunPower solar systems to deliver guaranteed performance for the next 25 years or more,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “SunPower works with school districts across California to reduce operating costs and repurpose the savings to the classroom. It is extremely rewarding to deliver needed savings to our public schools with power from the sun.”
SunPower is also collaborating with PUSD’s Successful Pathways program. The goal of the program is to prepare students for technology based careers that includes studying various factors of solar energy such as engineering, mathematics and more.