Lagunitas School District to host solar energy facility
The Lagunitas School District will open a solar facility this August. Solar Power Partners, Inc., Mill Valley, Calif.-based renewable energy company, developed the facility that will provide an estimated 65 percent of the school's annual power needs, according to a Solar Power release Aug. 6.
The 58.52 kilowatt system at the Lagunitas School District will generate 86,000 kilowatt hours in its first year of production. The annual carbon dioxide offset of about 70 metric tons achieved through the use of the solar power system is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 7,600 gallons of gasoline consumed, according to carbon statistics calculated via the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, the release states.
Borrego Solar, SPP's system integration partner for the project, utilized U.S.-manufactured photovoltaic modules from Evergreen Solar that features a small carbon footprint.
The school district entered into a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with SPP that developed, and will own and operate the solar power system. The two parties signed the PPA in April 2008 and the system will go live in August 2008, according to the release.
PPAs enable financing of solar installations by leveraging tax credits and by delivering power at highly competitive and predictable energy rates. The 15-year SPP PPA is expected to provide a cumulative savings of $110,000 to the Lagunitas School District. If the school district utilizes its extension options, cumulative savings could be more than $420,000 over its lifetime.
"We have developed a flexible solution that is designed to fit the stringent requirements of school administrators," said Alexander V. Welczeck, president, SPP, in the release. "It should never come down to a question of whether a school can purchase a book or help save the planet. We're glad we could set a practical example of affordable sustainable energy for both the public and private sector."