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Oakland Unified School District Plans to Reduce Electricity Costs by Nearly Half with SunPower Solar Systems

published: 2013-12-06 18:06

SunPower Corp. announced that it is designing and building high efficiency SunPower solar power systems for 16 schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in Oakland, Calif. Once completed in 2014, the district estimates it will reduce electricity costs at those facilities by 46 percent.

"Our contract with SunPower will enable Oakland Unified School District to maximize our use of clean renewable energy, dramatically reduce utility expenses, and use the savings to enhance academic programs," said OUSD Superintendent Dr. Gary Yee. "We will also have the opportunity to take advantage of linked learning initiatives such as the successful SunPower Solar Academy, which integrates real world work experience with rigorous academic programs to inspire students while preparing them for college and careers."

SunPower is installing 3.6 megawatts of systems at the 16 schools, using SunPower solar panels, the most efficient and reliable panels on the market today. The systems include rooftop solar arrays and solar shade structures in school parking lots, which take advantage of underutilized space and provide needed shade.

"Oakland Unified School District can rely on its SunPower solar systems to deliver guaranteed performance for the next 25 years or more," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "SunPower works with school districts across California to reduce operating costs and repurpose the savings to the classroom. It is extremely rewarding to partner with our public schools to deliver needed savings, while inspiring teachers and students with the great power and potential of the sun."

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, OUSD solar power systems will avoid production of approximately 80,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years, the equivalent of removing 15,210 cars from California's roads.

The SunPower Solar Academy is a summer project- and work-based learning program that is delivered over the course of one week in each participating district, immersing district students and teachers in a solar-focused curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Approximately 250 students from ten California school districts participated during the 2013 summer session.

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