Today, Scottsdale Unified School District and SunPower Corp. are celebrating the installation of 5.5 MW of high efficiency SunPower solar power systems at 11 district schools. The systems are expected to reduce the district’s electricity costs by $25 million over the next 25 years.
“This project will allow Scottsdale Unified School District to reduce our electricity costs at the schools receiving these systems by half, to recover valuable funds needed for our academic programs and to pay for upgrades,” said Superintendent Dr. David J. Peterson. “By partnering with SunPower, we are maximizing those savings as well as having clean, renewable energy generated at our schools. It is the right thing to do for our students and our community.”
SunPower is installing the systems on rooftops as well as on solar shade structures in parking lots, taking advantage of underutilized space and providing needed shade. The systems use high efficiency SunPower solar panels, the most efficient panels on the market today. All systems are expected to be complete and operational before the end of September.
“Scottsdale 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. “School districts across the nation are finding solar power to be a great way to reduce operating costs and repurpose the savings to the classroom. SunPower has found it extremely rewarding to deliver needed savings to our public schools and we commend Scottsdale Unified for its commitment to using solar power.”
The project was facilitated in part by the APS Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which offers financial incentives to customers helping to offset up to 40 percent of the costs of installing solar energy.
The District’s systems were financed through Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs), allowing them to own the systems and receive the full benefit of the energy cost savings and APS incentive payments.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scottsdale Unified School District solar power systems will avoid production of 176,900 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years, the equivalent of removing 31,000 cars from Arizona’s highways.