8point3 Energy Partners, a yieldco vehicle formed by SunPower and First Solar, and Wells Fargo have jointly acquired 22MWdc of SunPower’s solar systems at 27 Kern High School District (KHSD) schools in Kern County, California.
The KHSD solar project, which is still under construction by SunPower, is the largest contracted commitment to solar power by any school district in the U.S. The solar panels will be installed in the schools’ parking lots to take advantage of underutilized space as well as to provide needed shade.
"We're pleased to announce our first drop-down transaction today, an acquisition that further diversifies our portfolio with a very significant distributed generation asset and strengthens our current position and outlook for long-term growth," said Chuck Boynton, CEO of 8point3 Energy Partners. "We commend Kern High School District for its leadership in solar, and look forward to celebrating the completion of these systems later this year."
Under a power purchase agreement, Wells Fargo and 8point3 Energy Partners will sell electricity to the district at competitive rates, providing KHSD a hedge against potential utility rate increases with no upfront capital cost. The systems are scheduled to become operational in 2016 and are estimated to save US$80 million electricity costs over 25 years. KHSD will also own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.