Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and SunPower Corp. recently announced plans for a 1.1-megawatt SunPower® solar carport to be installed at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, Calif. GUHSD will not own the system; rather, it will buy power at a competitive rate under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunPower. SunPower estimates that 78.5 percent of the school’s energy will be offset as a result of the agreement, saving $6.3 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years.
“Any reduction in utility cost allows us to redirect limited resources to academic programs, faculty support, or additional facility upgrades,” said GUHSD Deputy Superintendent Scott Patterson. “SunPower’s experience working with school districts, as well as the long-term performance of its technology were the primary reasons they were selected for this project.”
“School districts work hard to maximize value from their limited resources. SunPower’s power purchase agreements give districts the ability to enhance their operational budgets by providing competitive electricity rates and a hedge against potential utility rate increases, with no upfront capital investment,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “It is extremely rewarding to help districts such as GUHSD to achieve significant savings while inspiring students with innovation and the great potential of solar power.”
The SunPower solar carport system will feature high efficiency SunPower solar panels, the most efficient on the market today. In addition to generating power, the carports will provide needed shade in the schools’ parking areas.
The system to be constructed at Valhalla High School is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
SunPower is a leader in delivering innovative energy solutions to California school districts. At 23 school districts across the state, the company has installed solar power systems totaling more than 90 megawatts which, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, generates the equivalent amount of power for 22,500 average California homes.