Since the recession started in December of 2007, California’s public schools have suffered (2). Parents and guardians in the Santa Clarita Valley are fully aware of the devastating budget cuts that the state has made to our schools in recent years. This makes it harder for teachers and administrators to provide a wide variety of courses and services to suit students’ diverse needs. But one local California school district isn’t letting the recession keep them down with a little help from SunPower solar.
With their headquarters located in Bakersfield, the Kern High School District is a neighbor to the Santa Clarita Valley community. Much like the solar initiative implemented by William S. Hart Union District nearly three years ago, the Kern High School District recently signed a Power Purchase Agreement (or PPA) “to buy electricity at a fixed rate” and bring savings-friendly SunPower solar to their schools (1). While William S. Hart School District signed a PPA with PsoomasFMG, LLC for only “6.4 Megawatts” at “9 district locations”, the Kern High School District is set to install a total of “22 Megawatts” of SunPower solar energy at “27 district sites” (3,1).
William S. Hart School District is set to save “$18-20 million” with PsoomasFMG over their “20 year contract”—which is a great return on their investment. But when compared to the “$80 million” that the Kern-SunPower initiative will save the Kern High School District “...in electricity costs over 25 years”, our local solar initiative return seems marginal (1). These numbers aren’t as surprising when put into context; the Kern-SunPower project is the largest solar initiative benefiting American public schools to-date.
And, everyone seems positive this solar initiative will work wonders for Kern’s schools. Dr. Cole, the Associate Superintendent of the Business Division for Kern High School District claims that, "As a result of the SunPower systems, Kern High School District will significantly reduce the percentage of our budget allocated for electricity, allowing us to enhance academic and extracurricular programs and plan additional facility upgrades,..." (1)
If Dr. Cole is correct, this is not only great news for Kern High School District but for all schools. The success of this program will prove that SunPower solar is not only a viable option for other districts; it is the best option. And, millions—potentially billions—of dollars can be saved from the grips of the utility companies and put back into our educational system with the help of SunPower solar panels.
Widespread adoption of programs like the Kern-SunPower solar project can really make a difference in the fight to improve our schools and help our kids become more competitive with students from all around the world. Green Convergence is proud to be a Master Dealer of a panel manufacturer that is helping to spearhead such a project. We are equally as dedicated to not only installing SunPower solar but to also improving the community that we all live and work in, making it a better place on panel at a time.