Another of SPP’s installations, this one in Ventura County. Photo: SPP
The young students sauntering into Grant Elementary School in Redding, CA this year may not notice much difference from last year. They’ll line up at the same doors and drinking fountains, play tag on the same playground and learn under the same light fixtures. The difference will be that those lights will be powered by the sun above Grant Elementary, and even if the kids go about business as usual, school administrators will certainly notice a sizable difference by the end of their first utility billing cycle.
Over the summer break, Grant Elementary had a 202.50-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed through a power purchase agreement with Solar Power Partners, a solar installation company out of Mill Valley, CA. Under the agreement, the school pays no upfront costs for the solar array, and will only pay for the electricity it produces at a fixed rate over the term of the contract.
“As with any public school, we’re under pressure to ensure we make wise choices about expenditures that also benefit the community and provide educational value to students,” said Grant Elementary Superintendent John Krinkel.
“A PPA with Solar Power Partners meant that the school does not spend any cash to install, operate, or maintain the system, and we know that a portion of our electricity bill will remain stable. Incorporating renewable energy has been cost-conscious now and for the future.”
The school expects to save $600,000 over the 20 years for which the PPA is contracted. The solar system will produce well over 290,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in its first year of operation, equivalent to removing 40 passenger cars from the road each year.
733 students, ranging in age from preschool to eighth grade, will benefit from the solar electricity at Grant Elementary.
Via Business Wire