SunEdison solar parking lots will save 25 California schools more than $30 million

Global renewable energy development company SunEdison has announced the signature of solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) with 25 California elementary, middle, and high schools.
SunEdison solar parking lots will save 25 California schools more than $30 million

The aim is to install high-performance solar parking canopies at each of the campuses, saving more than $30 million over the next 20 years on energy costs by switching to solar. The five unified school districts are Dixon, Downey, Duarte, Livermore, and Newman Crows Landing. The PPAs are for more than 7.4 MW of solar installed as parking canopies in each school’s parking lot. These will also provide shade for parked cars while generating clean solar energy.

“Installing a SunEdison solar system is one of the most immediate and effective means for schools to control their energy costs, and thanks to California's reasonable net metering policy this option is available to all schools in the state” said Sam Youneszadeh, SunEdison's regional general manager of its Western US solar business. “Using parking lot space for solar solves two problems: it provides much-needed shade for cars from the scorching California sun, and it lowers electricity costs - typically a school's second largest expense. We've helped more than 150 schools become not only more self-sufficient, but also enabled them to free up funds to maintain their buildings and ensure they continue to be safe and positive learning environments.”

The schools will enjoy the benefits of solar energy without having to make any up-front payment. SunEdison will own, install and operate each system while the schools buy the solar electricity at lower rates than offered by their local utility.

Dr. Allan Mucerino, Duarte Unified School District's Superintendent, added that the projects show how districts can become more self-sufficient financially and, from an energy perspective, the students can learn how consumers make decisions about purchasing energy.

California joint powers authority SPURR helped the districts arrange the solar power agreements with SunEdison. SPURR helps its clients get a high-performance solar system from a reputable solar company through its competitive procurement programme.  

The solar systems are expected to generate enough energy to offset more than half of all electricity used at each school, equivalent to enough electricity to power 1,700 Californian homes a year. The systems also displace more than 136 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years.

SunEdison intends to complete the solar parking canopies in 2016, to be operated and maintained by SunEdison Services, which manages, monitors, and reports energy output for SunEdison's global assets.

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