San Diego County Office of Education and Borrego Solar Celebrate Operation of 1 MW Solar Installation
The solar carport system is expected to save the institution $282,000 annually
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) – which provides a variety of services for the 42 school districts, 124 charter schools, and five community college districts in the county – and Borrego Solar Systems today celebrated the operation of a 1-megawatt (MW) solar carport system at its main campus on Linda Vista Drive. The solar power system is expected to save SDCOE $282,000 each year and provide enough energy to meet approximately 60 percent of the facility’s electricity demand.
When solar generation is coupled with behavioral changes and other planned energy efficiency measures, it should transform the Linda Vista campus into a zero-net energy site – meaning that it generates as much as it utilizes.
“Two years ago, SDCOE completed a plan to document and guide future sustainability actions,” said Bill Dos Santos, who leads the SDCOE facilities and energy group. “The new solar power system not only exemplifies our commitment, but it does so in a very visible way. Visitors and neighbors can readily see our commitment to environmental stewardship. What’s more, the system will significantly reduce our utility costs, thereby showcasing our financial stewardship well into the future.”
Borrego Solar Systems, a leading San Diego-based commercial solar company, developed, designed, and installed SDCOE’s solar project. The company has built more than 40 MW to date. The solar shade structure installation will offset approximately 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually, which is the same amount as removing nearly 280 cars from the road for a year.
“We applaud SDCOE for stepping up to join many of the schools that have already gone solar in the county and to set an example for those that haven’t yet,” said Cameron Thorne, Borrego Solar project developer. “SDCOE’s parking lot was previously sitting there soaking up the sun but not putting that solar energy to use. By utilizing capital on hand to purchase its system, SDCOE is going to achieve a quick pay-back and is monetizing its parking lot for years to come.”
Borrego Solar and SDCOE are also planning for a 106-kilowatt solar project at Cuyamaca Outdoor School this summer and a 256 –kilowatt system at the South Regional Education Center in National City.