Gonzales Unified School District, located in California’s Salinas Valley, has announced a new solar project that will produce approximately 940,000 kWh of renewable energy annually.
Now in operation, the project comprises more than 1,600 solar panels at parking and shade canopies at Gonzales High School, Fairview Middle School and La Gloria Elementary School.
Working with a Salinas-based team of engineers from ENGIE Services U.S. and energy consulting firm Sage Renewables, Gonzales USD signed a power purchase agreement (PPA), enabling the district to pass off any upfront costs related to the project to the ENGIE team, which will also provide maintenance.
Gonzales USD expects to capture over $5 million in electricity savings over the term of the 25-year PPA. Further, the solar project is net metered with the local utility.
“As we continue to plan, we want to show that we care about the future environment for our students,” comments Sonia Jaramillo, Gonzales USD’s board president. “Solar panels are a clean, green source of energy. They contribute to a sustainable future and help our district reduce operating costs. Solar panels are a step in empowering environmentally conscious youth.”
“This has been a great project for Gonzales USD that will provide long-lasting dividends to the community,” adds Ilan Fuss, associate principal at Sage Renewables. “The district will gain the benefit of reduced operating costs, decrease its carbon footprint, provide shade for students and raise the profile of cost-effective renewable energy projects in the Salinas Valley.”