La Mesa Junior High School was the host site for Wm. S. Hart Union High School District’s flip-the-switch celebration today for a solar power system that is being installed at nine of the district’s junior high and high schools. Civic officials and business leaders were on-hand to commend school district officials on their foresight and congratulate them on the phase one completion of their green initiative.
Through a public-private partnership with the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District (Hart School District), PsomasFMG is providing a turnkey solar solution, set to dramatically reduce the District’s consumption of traditional electricity. The company arranged for project financing free of upfront costs to the school district, and is managing the installation of the 7-MW project. The solar system features PV panels mounted atop carport structures, as well as ground mounted structures on some sites. Construction is nearly complete and all systems are scheduled to be fully operational by the 2012-2013 school year.
“I’m proud that the Hart School District has been able to move forward in partnership with PsomasFMG in providing solar power generating capabilities to our school sites,” said Rob Challinor, Superintendent of the Hart School District. “The benefits to our students are two-fold. First, as a result of generating 7 MW of energy, it is reducing the district’s electrical consumption which will allow those dollars to be put toward student programs. Additionally, students will have the benefit of first-hand experience on becoming better stewards of our environment.”
“I am particularly proud of our solar project having introduced the idea two years ago,” said Gloria Mercado-Fortine, President of the District’s Governing Board. “The benefits to schools are significant because the savings in energy costs will be used to support our classrooms and academic programs. It also offers students real-life experience in Environmental Education. Students can see how solar panels are transforming sunlight to power and electricity. This is an opportunity to develop an interest in architecture and the environment. Solar Energy Efficient schools are a good thing for our students, staff and the community at large.”
The solar power installations are engineered to produce green electricity for the Hart School District, which will realize numerous benefits from its initiative to achieve energy independence. In addition to substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the installations are expected to save the Hart School District $18-20 million dollars over the term of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The solar project will provide more than 80 percent percent of the school district’s electrical needs, while the PPA will lock in stable energy costs and help to reduce its expenditures on electricity. Southern California Edison will supplement the school district’s remaining energy requirements. In addition, the project will provide shade for school site parking lots.
“Solar power for schools is all about delivering savings to the school district and providing clean, renewable energy to the community. We salute the forward thinking Board and officials of the William S. Hart School District,” said PsomasFMG President and COO Albert Nagy, who also spoke at the event.
The solar project features an installation of 30,400 PV panels that are mounted atop steel-frame canopies and provide shaded parking for 2,300 vehicles. Schools that will be generating solar power include Golden Valley High School, Canyon High School, Valencia High School, West Ranch High School, Saugus High School, La Mesa Junior High School, Rancho Pico Junior High School, Rio Norte Junior High School, and Sierra Vista Junior High School.
Recently recognized by the California Environmental Protection Agency for its exemplary and innovative green solutions, PsomasFMG is currently underway on several turnkey installations that will generate up to 20 megawatts of green energy for school districts and public agencies.
Last year, the fast-growing developer completed work on a $52-million, 10-site, 9.6-MW project for the Antelope Valley Union High School District, which is currently the largest school-based solar power system in the United States. They’ve recently completed a 6.3-MW solar project on 18 sites for the Palmdale School District, and in addition to the project with Hart, are under construction on a 3.3-MW project on 5 sites for the County of Orange.