West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) and SunPower Corp. will begin construction of SunPower Helix solar systems at 34 school sites in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay area. The solar installations will include carports, shade structures and rooftop systems and will be constructed over the next year, with the first phase being operational in January.
The SunPower Helix systems will generate approximately 6.3 MW of clean power and are estimated to provide WCCUSD with more than $53 million in electricity savings over the next 25 years. Upon completion, SunPower estimates that 76% of the participating schools’ electricity will be provided through the SunPower Helix carport systems. WCCUSD will buy the energy under a power purchase agreement with SunPower and will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.
“Installing solar aligns with our Green School Initiative, which emphasizes energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption. We’ll be able to significantly reduce our energy costs and redirect those dollars toward other district priorities that benefit students,” says WCCUSD Superintendent Matt Duffy. “Having solar at school sites also creates additional opportunities to focus on green education, environmental responsibility and clean energy, exposing our students to even more STEM-related curriculum and concepts.”
“With many employees living in the district, we’re thrilled that WCCUSD has chosen SunPower for their renewable energy needs. The district will gain significant value for many years to come through the combination of a power purchase agreement and the SunPower Helix systems,” says Bill Kelly, SunPower vice president. “Districts are challenged to make the most of limited resources, so reducing electricity costs through innovative solutions, while at the same time letting students experience the great potential of solar power, is a win-win.”