Solar panels are popping up on school campuses across the nation as financial incentives become more readily available for schools that implement renewable energy as a way to offset their energy costs. In Arizona, Constellation Energy and Buckeye Union High School District have just completed a 4.3-megawatt solar generation project. The project will provide up to 70 percent of the electricity needs for three area high schools.
Buckeye Union High School and Youngker High School in Buckeye and Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear will be the recipients of the new renewable energy. The school district has agreed to purchase and receive all of the electricity generated by the solar panels at a fixed rate from Constellation Energy under a 25-year deal.
The solar power systems include 15,468 photovoltaic panels on 29 carport rooftops and two ground-mounted installations. The project is expected to generate more than 7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. That equals a savings of more than 3,875 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 760 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data for the Arizona region.
“We’re pleased to celebrate the addition of three solar installations in our school district,” Beverly Hurley, superintendent of Buckeye Union High School District, said in a statement. “This addition will play an important role in meeting the district’s electricity needs and will serve as an educational tool for our students to learn about solar energy production.”
The installations, were developed by GV Enterprises and REgeneration Finance and built by CORE Construction. The project was coordinated with help from the Arizona Corporation Commission-approved APS Renewable Energy Incentive Program. The program offers financial incentives, covering up to 40 percent of the installation costs, to customers who add renewable energy systems to their homes or businesses.