California High Schools Saving on Energy With New Sunpower Solar PV Systems

Sunpower Solar PV
The district estimates that the systems may offset about 60 percent of its utility grid demand.

New Sunpower Solar PV Systems  ( Solar Thermal Magazine ) – Recently at Olympian High School, Sweetwater Union High School District and SunPower are celebrating the installation of 9.3 megawatts of high efficiency SunPower solar power systems at 21 district schools. The district estimates that the systems may offset about 60 percent of its utility grid demand.


“With proven, reliable SunPower technology, we are generating savings that the Sweetwater Union High School District can use to support our academic and enrichment programs,” said Dr. Tim Glover, interim superintendent of SUHSD.

We’re also supporting the development of more solar power installations in our region. It is the right thing to do for our students and our community.

At the 21 district campuses, SunPower installed solar shade structures in school parking lots, taking advantage of underutilized space and providing needed shade. One ground-mounted system was installed at Mar Vista Middle School in San Diego, and a rooftop solar pv system was installed at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista. All of the systems use high efficiency SunPower solar panels, which generate up to 41 percent more power than conventional solar panels.

“Sweetwater Union High School District can rely on its high efficiency SunPower solar systems to deliver guaranteed performance for the next 20 years or more,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units.

SunPower works with school districts across California to reduce operating costs and repurpose the savings to the classroom. It is extremely rewarding to deliver needed savings to our public schools with power from the sun.

The district’s solar systems are financed through power purchase agreements with SunPower. Under terms of the agreements, financiers own the systems that SunPower designs, builds, operates and maintains. The district is buying the electricity at rates that are competitive with retail electricity, minimizing the effect of rising electricity costs with no capital investment. The district owns the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the systems.

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the SUHSD solar power systems will avoid production of more than 7,300 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing almost 30,000 cars from California’s roads over the next 20 years.

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