SunPower, in collaboration with Porterville Unified School District (PUSD), has installed 3.7 MW of solar-electric systems in six district schools. Over a period of 25 years from now, these solar-electric systems are expected to bring down the electricity costs of the district by 44 million US dollars.
SunPower plans to make use of the underutilized space, while offering the required shade, in the parking lots at the school premises to install solar shade structures and ground-mounted solar arrays. Funds from Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) were used for setting up the solar systems in the district, which enabled them to receive the entire benefits of incentive payments and energy cost savings, and to also own the solar systems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that over the next 30 years, production of around 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided by the PUSD solar power systems. This is equivalent to the removal of around 20,000 cars that populate the roads of California.
Dr. John Snavely, Superintendent of PUSD, said that PUSD’s collaboration with SunPower will increase their financial savings and also pave the way for the District to use clean and renewable energy. He also said that this project will enable PUSD to help the schools receiving these solar systems to reduce their electricity costs and use those funds for students’ academic programs.
SunPower President, Howard Wenger, said that Porterville Unified School District can completely depend on the solar systems provided by SunPower for their guaranteed efficiency and performance which will be evident over the next 25 years. He also said that his company works with many other school districts in California, and helps to reduce the cost of operation. The savings can be used constructively for classroom and student needs.