SunPower installs 3.9 MW of Helix solar systems across 13 California school sites

Bonita Unified School District (BUSD) and SunPower Corp. will celebrate the near completion of multiple SunPower Helix solar systems across 13 school sites in California’s San Gabriel Valley with a community ribbon-cutting event at San Dimas High School today.

A combination of carports, shade structures and fixed-tilt systems will total 3.9 MW. The Helix systems are complete with SunPower EnergyLink software, a comprehensive, powerful energy intelligence software (EIS) for solar which quantifies real-time demand charge savings, and identifies demand peaks and savings opportunities. BUSD expects to save more than $26 million in electricity costs over 30 years by switching to solar.

“The money saved over the next 30 years will be used to support the educational programs of the District,” said Assistant Superintendent Ann Sparks. “SunPower was selected because they provide the industry’s best power and product warranty, system maintenance, and value pricing. We are very happy to be working with them.”

The SunPower Helix systems installed at the school sites are expected to generate more than 6 million kWh of clean solar energy each year. Over 30 years, this would equate to removing nearly 26,000 cars from the road according to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. To finance the majority of the project, the District secured U.S. Department of Treasury clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs), which are available to certain entities, primarily in the public sector, to finance renewable energy projects. BUSD also owns the renewable energy credits associated with the systems. About $2 million of the cost will be supplied through Measure AB funds, which voters approved in 2008.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate BUSD’s commitment to a clean energy future with SunPower’s high efficiency, high reliability solar,” said Bill Kelly, SunPower vice president. “It’s rewarding to see a district like BUSD reduce electricity costs through solar power, while demonstrating the incredible potential of renewable energy to their students, the energy that will power their future.”

A leader in delivering innovative energy solutions to California school districts, SunPower has installed more than 135 MW in 30 districts. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this is enough to power 33,750 average California homes.

News item from SunPower