Arizona School District Expects To Save Millions With Solar

Posted by Joseph Bebon on December 07, 2016 1 Comment
Categories : Projects & Contracts

Constellation, a retail energy supplier and subsidiary of Exelon Corp., and Amphitheater Public Schools, a school district in Tucson, Ariz., have announced the completion of a district-wide solar project totaling 9.3 MW. Consisting of solar installations located across 25 school sites and support facilities, the project is expected to generate more than 60% of the district’s electricity needs in the first year of operation.

“We are excited about the significant cost-savings and meaningful educational opportunities this solar power system will bring,” says James Burns, Amphitheater Public Schools’ executive manager of operational support. “In addition, it will provide much needed shade in play areas and allow the district to demonstrate the viability of clean energy resources to our students, faculty and community.”

The project required no upfront capital from the district. Constellation owns and operates the solar power systems, and the district will purchase the electricity from Constellation under a 25-year solar services agreement. The project will result in an expected savings of $11 million to $23 million in energy costs over the term of the agreement, according to the district.

The project offers real-time data monitoring capabilities that will be integrated into the school curriculum to help students learn how solar electricity works and about the benefits of renewable energy. Students will be able to observe how solar energy is powering their schools and be introduced to potential careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

“Constellation is pleased to help Amphitheater Public Schools manage their energy costs and educate their students about the benefits of renewable energy,” says Brendon Quinlivan, executive director of distributed energy origination for Constellation. “Constellation welcomes Amphitheater Public Schools to the growing list of K-12 school customers that have adopted Constellation’s solar energy solutions programs. Since 2012, we’ve helped 150 schools install over 55 MW of solar generation in the greater Tucson and Phoenix communities.”

The solar installations total approximately 29,000 photovoltaic panels located on carports, shade canopies and rooftops across 25 locations. Natural Power and Energy, an Arizona-based commercial solar developer, led the pre-construction development efforts for project.

Photo courtesy of Constellation


  1. Seems short sighted to allow youngsters to play under panels. Yes the shade is a welcome relief but they tend to like to climb objects or throw small, hard things.

    The idea to allow real time monitoring is brilliant though! They will learn both the strengths and weaknesses of an intermittent energy source.

Leave a Comment