9.6 MW school solar power installation gets underway in California, the US

07. October 2010 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Becky Stuart

PsomasFMG, LLC has started construction on a USD$52-million, 9.6-megawatt (MW) photovoltaics (PV) project for the Antelope Valley Union High School District (AVUHSD), in California, the U.S.

PsomasFMG rooftop installation

The project is believed to be the largest school PV installation to date in California. Image: PsomasFMG.

The project, says the company, is the largest school solar power installation to date in the state, and is a public-private partnership between it and the AVUHSD. 

Ten campuses within the AVUHSD are participating in the installation, which includes the construction of steel-frame canopies to support solar panels and provide shaded parking for approximately 4,000 faculty and student vehicles. Around 41,000 PV panels will be used.

The systems are being installed in three phases, says PsomasFMG, utilizing construction crews that move between the campuses allowing for the greatest economies of scale. The final systems are scheduled to be commissioned early next year.

It is expected that the system will provide more than 80 percent of the school district’s electricity needs. Southern California Edison will reportedly supplement the school district’s remaining energy requirements at a reduced rate. 

During its first full year of energy independence, the AVUHSD has forecast an 18 percent reduction in electrical expenses. Over the next 20 years, the school district is projected to generate a savings of more than USD$40 million in energy costs.

PsomasFMG is providing a turnkey solar solution for the school district, including arranging for private investor financing. The solar system is being constructed for the school district without any capital expenditure. 

“The solar solution we are celebrating today is a classic win-win public-private partnership that will help us cut our energy costs and provide shade in our parking lot, with no upfront costs,” said Jeffrey Foster, deputy superintendent for the District. 

“PsomasFMG has been a willing partner, clearly explaining the project, delivering their product, and helping develop a green curriculum that will benefit our students.  We look forward to flipping the switch and bringing our District into a greener future.”

The Palmdale School District (PSD) recently awarded a USD$30.8-million contract to PsomasFMG for the construction of a 6.4 MW solar power installation at 19 sites.  The company is providing a turnkey solution for PSD, which includes financing for the design-build project and long-term asset management. Design and engineering are currently underway.

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