SOLON Corporation, one of the largest providers of turnkey solar power plants in the U.S., announced it has completed construction of 1.15 megawatts (MW) of solar systems for the Tanque Verde Unified School District (TVUSD) and will mark the occasion with project partners at a special dedication ceremony on February 28 at 5:30pm on the Tanque Verde High School campus.
Spread over four campuses - Tanque Verde Elementary School, Aqua Caliente Elementary School, Emily Gray Junior High School and Tanque Verde High School - the solar systems are a combination of shade structures and rooftop systems. With over 4,000 solar modules, the systems will offset a large portion of the daytime electricity requirements of each campus.
SOLON engineered, designed, constructed, and commissioned the systems. As a full-service system provider, SOLON will continue to operate and maintain the systems.
The solar systems were made possible through a solar services agreement (SSA) between TVUSD and MP2 Capital, a leading investor in the renewable energy industry. MP2 Capital will sell all of the power generated from the systems to the school district under the 25-year solar SSA. In addition, local utility provider Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will purchase all of the environmental attributes generated by the system in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs), contributing to TEP’s renewable energy goals and helping to reduce the overall cost of the system. This financing structure means that the district was not required to make any upfront investment or incur any ongoing annual expenditure to receive clean electricity at an affordable rate for a period of 25 years. When placed in service, the total output of the project for the first year is estimated to be over two million kilowatt-hours, enough energy to power over 190 homes.
“Not only are we delighted that this project required no upfront investment from our already strained school budgets, we anticipate these installations will deliver more than 70 percent of our energy across these four campuses,” said Dr. Douglas Price, Superintendent of Tanque Verde Unified School District.
SOLON is also providing an education package to the school district, including classroom monitoring of the systems’ outputs, access to the performance and weather data, and a renewable energy curriculum for elementary, middle and high school levels designed by TEP which meets Arizona state curriculum standards.
“Solar and schools are a great match because not only does the school benefit from a clean energy source, but the students are provided shade structures for outdoor learning and recreation as well as hands-on educational opportunities on renewable energy,” said Jared Schoch, Vice President and General Manager of power plants at SOLON Corporation. “This project is also special because it brings together the diverse expertise of trusted organizations - SOLON from solar development, design, construction and service, MP2 from finance, and TVUSD from education - in a collaboration to benefit an entire school district.”
“MP2 Capital has been proud to work together with SOLON to support the initiatives of the school district through the completion and operation of this solar project. The Tanque Verde School District will receive not only the benefits of clean electricity for 25 years but the lasting legacy of environmental consciousness fostered within its schoolrooms,” commented Jeff Glavan, Managing Director of MP2 Capital.
The construction of the TVUSD solar systems employed 60 Arizona workers, including 25 workers from the local community.