Lagunitas School District will be among the first schools in California to implement solar energy. The school district is planning to inaugurate the solar facility that has been installed in the campus in August this year. The installation and implementation has been done in partnership with Solar Power Partners, California, an energy company specializing in renewable energy sources like solar power. The solar facility that the company has installed in.
Lagunitas will account for almost 65% of the school’s power requirements.
The deal, a Power Purchase Agreement, between the two parties is of 15 year duration, and was developed by Solar Power Partners. The company has ownership rights to the solar facility. The deal was struck in April 2008, and the facility will be ready for operation as soon as August 2008, a mere four months later.
The facility is a 58.52 kilowatt (kW DC) one, and is expected to generate around 86,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). The Lagunitas School District solar facility will have carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 70 metric tons a year, which is roughly equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions that are released through the use of 7,600 gallons of gasoline. These numbers have been determined and published by the United States Environment Protection Agency.
“We chose Solar Power Partners because of their expertise and ability to assess our needs quickly,” said Lawrence H. Enos, Superintendent, Lagunitas School District. “They have established a dependable renewable energy system that would not only cost zero out of pocket today, but would help protect the school district against increasing electricity prices. Beyond providing a solution that our school district could never afford on its own, SPP is helping us teach our students how innovation, finance, government, and good will can all come together for the benefit of generations to come.”
Solar Power Partners worked in collaboration with Borrego Solar, using the company’s products for the project. Borrego Solar supplied photovoltaic modules that were sources from Evergreen Solar in the project. These US-made modules apparently have the smallest carbon footprint in comparison to other similar products.
The idea of the power Purchase Agreement is to allow various organizations to install solar facilities at a much lower cost, using tax credits to reduce the capital investments. It also has the advantage of being able to provide power at sustainable and predictable energy levels. This particular Power Purchase Agreement, with a duration of 15 years, will cut back costs at Lagunitas School District to the tune of $110,000. This figure has been arrived at considering cumulative savings, and in the same way, if the school decides to leverage its extension options, the savings could well total up to more than $420,000.
“We have developed a flexible solution that is designed to fit the stringent requirements of school administrators,” said Alexander V. Welczeck, president, Solar Power Partners. “It should never come down to a question of whether a school can purchase a book or help save the planet. We”˜re glad we could set a practical example of affordable sustainable energy for both the public and private sector.”
Solar Power Partners is known to integrate the latest technologies, along with expertise and best practices of the solar energy industry. The company leverages the financing strength that can be gained through the use of Power Purchase Agreements allowing various building owners the facility to achieving energy independence with lower costs.
Borrego Solar Systems is a solar developer, designer and installer of grid-connected solar electric systems for commercial, government and residential purposes. The photovoltaic systems of Borrego Solar are proficient, consistent and economical.