These agreements will see more than 9 megawatts of solar installed at 18 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the state, and is expected to save taxpayers more than $30 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.
"Installing a SunEdison solar system is one of the most immediate and effective things that schools can do to slash their energy costs," said Sam Youneszadeh, SunEdison’s regional general manager of its Western U.S. solar business. "We have a proven record in installing solar systems across dozens of schools in the U.S., and we work with each district to make sure their exact needs are met."
The six unified school districts getting new solar systems are Atascadero, Fairfax, Gilroy, Paso Robles, Templeton, and Tracy.
The districts worked with California joint powers authority SPURR to arrange the solar power deals with SunEdison. SPURR helps its clients navigate the process of going solar, and has set up a competitive procurement program which ensures its clients get a great deal from a reputable solar company.
"These school districts are getting a great deal by choosing to go solar with SunEdison," said Michael Rochman, SPURR’s managing director. "SunEdison’s pricing and terms are far superior to anything else we have seen in the marketplace, and they have the track record to make sure these systems are cared for over their entire life."
Each solar system will be installed on a parking canopy, a roof that sits above parked cars at the school. This type of system provides two benefits: the canopies provide shade from California’s hot sun while the solar panels generate cost effective, clean energy.
The solar systems are expected to generate enough energy to offset more than 75 percent of the electricity used by the school buildings. That same amount of electricity is enough to power around 2,200 California homes a year. The systems will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 170 million pounds over the 20-year periodthe equivalent to the annual amount of carbon sequestered by 64,000 acres of U.S. forest, an area more than twice the size of San Francisco.
SunEdison intends to start construction during the first half of 2016, and aims to finish by the third quarter. Operation and maintenance of the solar systems will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global asset management, monitoring and reporting services.