School District in Northern California Cuts Utility Costs with District-Wide Solar System

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Wright Elementary School District goes solar with a 530kW PV system. The project spans four sites and is mounted on parking lot shade structures and play areas. Over its lifetime, the district-wide solar system is expected to generate more than 15.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, saving the district more than $190,000 in the system’s first year of operation and $4.18 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

Wright Elementary School District has installed a 530kW PV system. The system spans four sites and is mounted on parking lot shade structures and play areas. Over its lifetime, the district-wide solar system is expected to generate more than 15.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. 

When the system is fully operational, the California Solar Initiative will pay the district more than $300,000 in rebates over the next five years for the electricity generated by the system.

The system was developed by TerraVerde Renewable Partners and engineered and constructed by Cupertino Electric, which was selected by the district through a competitive bid process. Funding for the system came from Measure I, a bond measure passed on June 5, 2012.

According to Doug Stoecker, vice president of TerraVerde Renewable Partners, “the district is projected to save more than $190,000 in the system’s first year of operation and $4.18 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years.”

“While the energy savings are great, the more than 22 million pounds of carbon emissions reduced by the system during its lifetime is equally impressive,” Doug added.

The large flat roof of a school or university building is an ideal place for a rooftop solar installation, and clean solar electricity has significant benefits for educational institutions. Many schools and universities in the U.S. have already made the move to go solar, and the list of solar schools and universities is expanding rapidly. 

Wright Elementary Superintendent Adam Stein commented: “In addition to serving as a symbol of sustainability, the solar system will expose students to how solar power generation works. We will be able to provide better interventions for our at-risk students through the savings realized with this investment in the district’s future.”