California District Cuts Utility Costs with District-Wide Solar System

Wright Elementary School District announced today that it has energized a 530 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system installed at four sites. The system was developed by TerraVerde Renewable Partners and constructed by Cupertino Electric, Inc. using Measure I funds.

“We are extremely pleased to have this solar system up and running to offset energy costs and promote environmental practices throughout the district,” said Wright Elementary Superintendent Adam Stein. “In addition to serving as a symbol of sustainability, the solar system will expose students to how solar power generation works. We will be able to provide better interventions for our at-risk students through the savings realized with this investment in the district’s future.”

The solar system for Wright Elementary School District spans four sites and is mounted on parking lot shade structures and play areas. The solar panels will collect energy during the summer that will be banked toward the district’s winter energy use. During its lifetime, the district-wide solar system is expected to generate more than 15.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. After the solar system becomes fully operational, the California Solar Initiative will pay the district more than $300,000 in rebates over the next five years for the electricity generated by the system.

“Because of the cost-effective, clean energy generated by the solar system, the district is projected to save more than $190,000 in the system’s first year of operation and $4.18 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years,” said Doug Stoecker, vice president of TerraVerde Renewable Partners. “While the energy savings are great, the more than 22 million pounds of carbon emissions reduced by the system during its lifetime is equally impressive.”

The solar system at the district was funded by Measure I, a bond measure passed on June 5, 2012. The system was engineered and constructed by Cupertino Electric, a contractor selected by the district through a competitive bid process.