Madison School District Installs Photovoltaic System

Kyocera Solar Inc. and Madison School District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to inaugurate a 1.6MW solar energy project, the first that Kyocera has developed and financed through its in-house Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) program.

While kids were stocking up on school supplies for the upcoming year, the Madison School District and Kyocera were working together on a new plan to bring solar energy to three Phoenix-area schools. More than 6,400 Kyocera high-efficiency solar panels are installed across the Madison One middle school and Park and Rose Lane elementary schools. The system is expected to offset over 60 percent of the annual electricity consumed by the schools moving forward, using the clean energy of the sun.

“Fiscal responsibility is one of the goals in the Madison Strategic Plan,” said Dr. Tim Ham, superintendent, Madison School District. “One of the ways we’re working towards this goal is by leveraging Bond dollars to implement energy efficiency improvements in our schools, saving over $100,000 in utility costs. We also look forward to the system acting as a renewable energy learning tool for students and teachers.”

This project, installed by SKY Engineering of Phoenix, represents Kyocera’s first PPA project that the company has developed in the United States.

“The Madison School District project is the first of many solar projects that Kyocera Solar will develop and finance, and we couldn't be prouder to inaugurate our exciting new business model with a local school district,” said Steve Hill, president of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Kyocera Solar Inc.

The three systems will generate over 2.6 million kilowatt hours per year of renewable energy – enough to power more than 200 homes in Arizona for a year – and offsetting annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 382 cars from the road or carbon from more than 47,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Kyocera Solar's new status as a project developer follows a precedent set by Kyocera’s operations in Japan, where the company owns and operates a 70MW solar installation in Kagoshima, and is in the process of building approximately 35 additional smaller-scale projects to provide an additional 60 to 70MW of cumulative renewable energy capacity. Amid continuing strong demand for its high-quality solar modules, Kyocera plans to ship more than 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar modules worldwide in FY2014, an increase of 50% from FY2013.

“Everyone is obsessed with driving down the cost per Watt in a solar system, but the cost of financing also has a significant impact on the customer’s cost per kilowatt-hour,” said Hill. “When you combine Kyocera’s premium product, systems engineering expertise and attractive financing, you have an unbeatable combination.”