A 23.8 MW solar generation project has been completed across the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) in Arizona.
The project was built in three phases over five years in collaboration with TUSD, Exelon subsidiary Constellation and developer Urban Energy Solutions. Each site was designed to maximize cost-savings and provide shade for several parking areas and playgrounds.
According to the partners, the project – the largest of its kind among K-12 school districts in Arizona – is expected to account for 47% of TUSD’s annual electricity use.
“I am very proud of the district’s commitment over the last five years to install the solar arrays at our schools and facilities. They not only produce energy to run our schools while reducing our carbon footprint, they also provide wonderful shaded areas for our playgrounds and parking areas,” says Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, TUSD’s superintendent.
Located on shade canopies across 82 school campuses and support facilities, the solar arrays are expected to produce 41.6 million kWh of electricity and prevent the release of nearly 31,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
The project required no upfront capital from TUSD, which will purchase the electricity generated by the more than 73,000 photovoltaic panels through 20-year services agreements with Constellation.
“Constellation is committed to increasing access to clean energy solutions,” comments Brendon Quinlivan, executive director of distributed energy origination for Constellation. “We congratulate TUSD on leading a growing list of K-12 school customers who are choosing to support renewable solar generation projects while managing energy costs.”
“Our team is grateful for the opportunity to develop these utility cost-savings projects for TUSD while also empowering the district’s environmental initiatives,” adds John Mitman, director of engineering and development for Urban Energy Solutions. “TUSD has earned the right to be proud of its environmental stewardship through supporting these solar energy projects.”
TUSD and Constellation will celebrate the project’s completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 17 at Dietz K-8 School in Tucson (pictured below). Following the celebration, Constellation will lead Dietz students in hands-on solar experiments designed to demonstrate how solar generation works and showcase the benefits of renewable energy.