Campbell Union School District Will Save $8.2 Million with 1.5 Megawatts of Solar Capacity
Borrego Solar Systems to design and build roof-mount solar installations and solar shade structures at nine schools and one district site
Campbell Union School District, a PreK-8 school district that includes parts of six cities in Santa Clara County, today announces its plans to add 1.5 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity across ten schools and the district Corporation Yard that houses school buses. The portfolio will consist of installations on multiple rooftops and four solar shade structures, which are expected to save the district more than $15 million in electricity costs over 25 years. After paying for the solar systems and a full 25 years of operations and maintenance, the District expects to realize more than $8 million in net benefits over the first 25 years of operation. The $5.7 million project is being funded with a zero percent interest loan from the California Energy Commission (CEC).
“The district is committed to providing the best learning environment for our students,” said James Crawford, Campbell’s deputy superintendent, administrative services. “As much as that takes place inside the classroom, it also includes the health of our facilities and operating budget. These installations help us keep the focus of our spending on the students and their learning by freeing up money spent on energy for other purposes.”
“Once the District leadership identified its desired economic goals for the solar project, which was our first step toward making it a reality, the rest fell into place thanks to financing from the CEC and the industry resources available to us,” Crawford said.
Borrego Solar Systems, a leading developer, designer, installer and financier of commercial solar, is designing and building Campbell’s solar projects. The projects will produce 2.4 million kilowatt (kW) hours of energy in the first year, which is the equivalent to the amount needed to power approximately 375 average homes annually.
The solar systems at each school are sized to offset approximately 70 percent of the current electricity usage. The sites will be net-metered, meaning that whenever a site’s solar production exceeds what the site is using at the time, the additional solar output will be fed onto the local electricity grid and the District will receive a credit on its utility bill from Pacific Gas & Electric.
“Campbell’s leadership not only recognized the huge economic benefit solar provides, but also that contracting a multi-site solar project can be effectively managed with the right partnerships. By working with a consultant early on in the due diligence process, they were able to secure financing, enabling them to go solar with little up-front costs, and move forward quickly with selecting the right contractor,” said Fnan Araia, project developer at Borrego Solar. “The District joins the growing number of forward-thinking school districts across the country achieving savings through solar, and we anticipate this trend to only continue as the cost of solar declines and utility rates increase.”
The 1.5 MW system will be comprised of the following installations*:
- 69 kW roof-mount system on Blackford Elementary School
- 90 kW solar shade structure at the Campbell Corporate Yard
- 222 kW roof-mount system on Campbell Middle School
- 185 kW roof-mount system on Capri Elementary School/Village School
- 132 kW roof-mount system on Forest Hill Elementary School
- 104 kW roof-mount system on Marshall Lane Elementary
- 236 kW roof-mount system on Monroe Middle School
- 111 kW system comprised of a roof-mount and solar shade structure at Rolling Hills Middle School
- 125 kW system comprised of a roof-mount and solar shade structure at Rosemary Elementary
- 185 kW solar shade structure at Sherman Oaks Elementary
*Some of the designs listed here are still being finalized
About Campbell Unified School District
Campbell Union School District educates more than 7,600 students, from preschool to eighth grade. Our award-winning schools serve families from parts of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Saratoga. In addition to traditional educational programs, our district offers a parent participation school, a dual language immersion school and home schooling.