During the first stage of the program, NRG Solar and Kennedy Partners have said they will build 12 large PV pavilions at schools, which are part of the Continental Elementary School District in Green Valley, south of Tucson and the Gila Bend Unified School District, southwest of Phoenix. They added that they are also currently working on similar large-scale projects at Payson Unified School District, northeast of Phoenix, and Arlington Elementary School District, west of Phoenix.
The companies will reportedly construct the pavilions as carports adjacent to the school buildings. Future installations could also supply shade for playgrounds, sidewalks or whatever best fits the needs of the individual school.
In addition to providing electricity for the schools, the pavilions and their solar panels will reportedly give students the opportunity to learn about emission-free solar power generation and participate in the development of America’s clean energy future.
"With this project, we’re not only creating clean, renewable solar energy, we’re investing in the imagination of youths across Arizona," said David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy. "The solar pavilions, which can be sized to provide customized clean energy solutions for each school, give students a dynamic, new learning experience while helping Arizona to meet its growing energy needs cleanly and sustainably."
Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, added: "To Help Arizona school districts control energy costs, I directed USD$20 million of the State Energy Program monies be dedicated to upgrade energy efficiencies and add renewable energy programs. An important aspect of these school projects is that they will be designed and constructed by Arizona companies and built by Arizona workers. These projects are good for Arizona school districts and they are good for the State of Arizona."
Under the terms of the agreement, NRG will support the project development, and provide investment capital for the installation and operation of the pavilions.