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SOLON And Paradise Valley Unified School District Solar Project Goes Live

File image.
by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Apr 19, 2011
SOLON has announced the completion of nearly 2.7 megawatts (MW) in solar system construction for Arizona's Paradise Valley Unified School District (PV Schools), making it the state's largest school district solar installation.

SOLON engineered, procured and constructed the solar photovoltaic systems for PV Schools, in addition to manufacturing the UL-certified solar modules at its Tucson-based manufacturing facility.

The systems use SOLON's high-efficiency polycrystalline solar panels that are mounted onto non-penetrating (ballast) roof-mount systems and are in use at the following locations: 940 kilowatts (KW) of solar energy on North Canyon High School, 973 KW on Shadow Mountain High School, 462 KW on Pinnacle High School and 288 KW on Horizon High School. All of these systems are in commercial operation.

"Through these projects, SOLON is helping PV Schools achieve renewable energy standards, offering clean, solar energy to offset peak load demands during optimal daylight hours," said Dan Alcombright, Regional Vice President and General Manager of North America for SOLON.

"And by offering a solar service agreement to the district, SOLON made 'going solar' more affordable and viable."

Under a solar service agreement (SSA), the school district avoids any up-front system purchase cost by purchasing the power at a fixed rate, providing a hedge against future electricity rate increases. SOLON has partnered with SunEdison, LLC, a solar energy services provider in North America, to manage these systems.

In July 2010, the Arizona Corporation Commission made a landmark decision for the solar industry in Arizona and ruled in favor of SSAs, making this project viable. "I couldn't be happier to see the solar arrays completed on the schools, and the District's North Canyon High School, at nearly 1 MW, is an impressive site to see," said Arizona Corporation Commissioner Paul Newman.

"What's even better is that these solar panels mean local jobs, cleaner air and bluer skies. It also means that our kids will have an up-close view of Arizona's future: more solar power."

For all of these projects, SOLON is working with Arizona Public Service (APS), the local utility, which is providing incentives for these systems.

"The benefits are immense from our solar system deployments with SOLON," said Ken Carter, Director of Purchasing for the Paradise Valley Unified School District.

"These projects offset a large portion-approximately 27 percent in the first year of operation-of the electricity needs of our schools with renewable and sustainable energy and they are made possible because of the Renewable Portfolio Standards that are mandated by the Arizona Corporation Commission and implemented by Arizona Public Service. Through SOLON, we simply buy the electricity generated from these systems below the current APS electricity price, and in turn, have the ability to service our schools for the next 20 years."

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