Five schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District will soon be home to high-efficiency SunPower solar power systems, according to recent reports. In total, the planned installations will make up about 1.2 MW of new solar capacity.
The school district estimates that — based on its current utility rates — the solar energy generated by the soon-to-be-installed systems will save it around $380,000 dollars annually in electricity costs.
The systems will be of the “solar shade structure” variety, with the installations set to be located in the parking lots of the schools — an effective way to utilize underused space, as well as providing shade for cars. The high-efficiency SunPower solar panels the systems will use are some of the most efficient panels available in the consumer market today.
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Construction is substantially complete on two of the five systems, including a 63-kilowatt solar shade structure installed at the Hall District Elementary School parking lot. Construction of the three other systems is scheduled to be completed this summer.
According to estimates provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the solar power systems at PVUSD are expected to offset more than 921 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 3,480 cars from California’s roads over the next 20 years.
To read up on similar developments in California’s other school districts, see: