Constellation and Amphitheater Public Schools Mark Completion of 9.3 Megawatt Solar Project
Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation and a leading competitive retail energy supplier, and Amphitheater Public Schools (the district) today announced the completion of a 9.3-megawatt (DC) solar generation project in Tucson, Ariz. The solar power systems, located across 25 school sites and support facilities, are expected to generate more than 60 percent of the District’s electricity needs in the first year of operation.
In honor of the solar project completion, a celebration and ribbon-cutting were held today at Richard B. Wilson K-8 School. Representatives from the district, Constellation, Natural Power and Energy and CORE Construction attended the event.
“We are excited about the significant cost-savings and meaningful educational opportunities this solar power system will bring,” said James Burns, executive manager of operational support, Amphitheater Public Schools. “In addition, it will provide much needed shade in play areas and allow the district to demonstrate the viability of clean energy resources to our students, faculty and community.”
The project required no upfront capital from the district. Constellation owns and operates the solar power system. The district will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels from Constellation under a 25-year solar services agreement. The project will result in an expected savings of $11 million to $23 million in energy costs over the term of the agreement, according to the district.
The project offers real-time data monitoring capabilities that will be integrated into the school curriculum to help students learn how solar electricity works and about the benefits of renewable energy. Students will be able to observe how solar energy is powering their schools, and be introduced to potential careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
“Constellation is pleased to help Amphitheater Public Schools manage their energy costs and educate their students about the benefits of renewable energy,” said Brendon Quinlivan, executive director of distributed energy origination for Constellation. “Constellation welcomes Amphitheater Public Schools to the growing list of K-12 school customers that have adopted Constellation’s solar energy solutions programs. Since 2012, we’ve helped 150 schools install over 55 megawatts of solar generation in the greater Tucson and Phoenix communities.”
The solar power systems are comprised of approximately 29,000 photovoltaic panels located on carports, shade canopies and rooftops across 25 locations. The systems are expected to generate approximately 16.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of approximately 11,519 tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 2,433 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data for the region.
Natural Power and Energy, an Arizona-based commercial solar developer serving companies, schools and government institutions, led the pre-construction development efforts for the solar power system. Natural Power and Energy’s solar energy business was acquired by Urban Energy Solutions, Inc. in November, 2016.
“By reducing energy costs over the term of the project the Amphitheater School District can divert those funds to focus on what it does best, which is providing education,” said John Mitman, director of engineering and development, for Natural Power and Energy.
Constellation currently owns and operates more than 400 megawatts of distributed generation that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the United States, including approximately 300 megawatts of solar installations, and other forms of clean, on-site power supply such as biomass and co-generation.
By structuring its solar projects as power purchase agreements or solar services agreements, Constellation offers solar installations that may require no upfront capital from customers and may provide fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates.