SolEd and KYOCERA Solar Help California School District Save Money, Educate on Renewables
Old Adobe Union School District in Petaluma, CA embraces solar education while saving $1 million in energy costs
Scottsdale, AZ – February 29, 2015 – The Old Adobe Union School District (OAUSD) in Petaluma, CA, signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SolEd Solar Holdings II to “go green” with no up-front costs, Kyocera Solar, Inc. announced today. As a result, the district and its students will benefit from a hands-on learning experience in solar energy and retain all Renewable Energy Credits while achieving energy cost savings of more than $1 million over 20 years.
The 460kW solar project, developed by SolEd Benefit Corp, formed with the mission to lower energy costs for schools and public benefit clients, was installed by Sun Light & Power, which has designed more than 1,000 solar systems since 1976, including many for schools.
OAUSD locations benefitting from the PPA include:
- La Tercera Elementary School (139kW)
- Loma Vista Immersion Academy (72kW)
- Miwok Valley Language Academy (144kW)
- Old Adobe Elementary School (105kW)
The four photovoltaic (PV) systems comprise top-tier technology including Kyocera’s high-reliability multicrystalline silicon PV 265-watt solar modules, transformer-less string inverters by SMA Solar Technology, and ground-mount structures engineered and built by RBI Solar, Inc.
Through SolEd’s PPA, OAUSD doesn’t own the solar systems, but agrees to purchase all of the clean energy produced at a predetermined rate, helping to stabilize utility costs. In the summer and on weekends, the district’s meters will effectively run backwards, netting cost savings beginning Year 1 and growing over time.
Key terms of the Solar PPA include:
- No upfront capital cost or ongoing debt for the school district
- No district obligation to operate and maintain the solar facilities
- A simple agreement to pay for the clean energy delivered to each meter
“The OAUSD project combines Kyocera’s commitments to environmental education and responsibility with decades of expertise in reliable, efficient solar energy solutions,” said Hitoshi Atari, President of Kyocera Solar. “We’re proud to support this significant educational installation as a visual reminder for students to witness solar technology in action.”
The four systems combined are expected to produce 705,000kWh of renewable electricity annually – equivalent to 67 households’ energy consumption or avoiding 486 metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere – facts that students in the district will learn.
To enhance students’ understanding of clean energy technology, SolEd introduced the district to Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI), a provider of curriculum services aimed toward creating environmental stewards and future community leaders. Subject to district direction, teachers will be trained on solar monitoring and functionality and access SEI’s curriculum: energy and resource efficiency, climate change science, renewables, green transportation and careers.
“We hope that exposing students first-hand to renewable energy will foster interest in advancing green technologies and encourage environmental responsibility,” said David Kunhardt, CEO of SolEd Benefit Corp. “The simple web interface detailing the solar energy created – plus the cost savings – can be tremendous, real-life teaching tools.”
Kyocera Corporation of Kyoto, Japan, recorded consolidated sales of $12.7 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. The company has a 40-year tradition of innovation in solar energy research, development and manufacturing, with a U.S. customer base served by Kyocera Solar, Inc. of Scottsdale, AZ. Kyocera is the only solar module manufacturer to have earned the highest rating across all six test categories in GTM Research’s PV Module Reliability Scorecard.