Released May 28, 2015
The Kern High School District (KHSD) has announced an agreement with SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq:SPWR) to design and build 22 megawatts of solar power systems at 27 KHSD sites. According to data provided by The Solar Foundation, the agreement is the largest contracted commitment to solar power by any school district in the United States. Once the systems are operational in 2016, the District estimates that it will achieve $80 million in savings in electricity costs over 25 years.
“As a result of our partnership with SunPower, Kern High School District will significantly reduce the percentage of our budget allocated for electricity, allowing us to enhance academic and extracurricular programs and plan additional facility upgrades. SunPower’s deep experience working with school districts is as important as the long-term performance of its technology. We’re looking forward to generating on-site emission-free solar power to support our operations and our community.” - Dr. Scott Cole, Associate Superintendent of Business, KHSD.
Construction will begin on the solar power systems this summer. The project will be done in several phases and is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. It will be financed through a power purchase agreement. For no upfront capital investment, the agreement provides the District with both competitive electricity rates, and a hedge against potential utility rate increases. KHSD will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.
Sage Renewable Energy Consulting, Inc., an independent energy consulting firm, was retained by the District to solicit proposals for the project, help guide the vendor selection process; and ensure that District goals are met from design through implementation.
SunPower is also working with the KHSD to expand the District’s commitment to high quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Currently, eight KHSD sites provide STEM curriculum through programs offered by Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a leading provider of K-12 STEM curriculum and teacher professional development. SunPower’s in-kind contribution to the District is expected to enable KHSD to include two additional schools in these programs, and enhance the District’s existing programs over the next 20 years.
“Kern High School District is leading the nation with this very significant commitment to solar power at its schools. SunPower works with school districts across California that are seeking ways to reduce operating costs and repurpose the savings to the classroom. It is extremely rewarding to partner with our public schools to deliver clean power with a SunPower system, while inspiring teachers and students with the great power and potential of the sun.” - Howard Wenger, SunPower President, Business Units.
At the District sites, SunPower will design and install solar systems using SunPower® solar panels, the most efficient and reliable panels on the market today. The systems will be installed as solar carports in school parking lots, taking advantage of underutilized space and providing needed shade.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the KHSD solar power systems will avoid production of approximately 17,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of removing about 81,500 cars from California’s roads over the next 25 years.
SunPower is a leader in delivering energy solutions to school districts in the U.S. To date, the company has completed or is installing solar power systems at 250 school totaling more than 83 megawatts which, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, is enough to power almost 14,000 average California homes.
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on SunPower’s 30 years of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpower.com.
About Sage Renewables
Sage Renewables is an independent renewable energy consulting and project development firm with over 127 MW of project experience. From project conception to operations management, Sage provides unbiased expertise on all aspects of energy projects. Sage is technology and vendor neutral, and has implemented energy projects with all market-ready renewable technologies including solar PV, energy storage, energy management systems, solar thermal, fuel cell and wind. For more information, visit www.sagerenew.com.