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District Says Savings From Solar Panels Better Than Expected

The district projects the bonds for the solar initiative will be paid off in 16 years.

Press release from San Ramon Valley Unified School District

After nearly five months of converting solar energy to electricity at five of its schools, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District announced Tuesday night that, based on early returns, the solar systems are meeting and in most cases, exceeding expectations.

Since October 2011 when the systems first came online, average production by the systems has exceeded 110% of “expected kWh” (kiloWatt hours).

“We are very pleased with the results,” said Steven Enoch, Superintendent of Schools. “It would certainly appear that we are on track to pay back the bond and to generate additional savings which can be applied in support of our students and their learning.”

The systems, which are in place at , , l, and , collectively use more than 10,000 solar panels to convert solar energy to electricity.

The solar initiative was funded with $25 million in near 0%-interest Qualified School Construction Bonds from the federal government. These will be paid off through the energy savings realized by the systems. The district projects that in approximately 16 years the bonds will be paid off and the district will then realize an estimated $2 million per year in energy savings to the District’s General Fund Budget.

The District will publish an updated “Solar Energy Production and Savings” chart each month that includes current information regarding expected/actual kWh production and net/cumulative savings (avoided costs) to the district.

The chart reflecting the first five months of solar output, and more information about the Solar Initiative can be found at: http://www.srvusd.net/solar

Sustainable Danville Area March 22, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Great news! With results like this we should be moving our middle schools & elementary schools to photovoltaic systems too!
George March 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM
So they got a few months of above 100 percent of the estimate and that extrapolates into 1 year off the breakeven estimates. We also received well under average rainfall those months. A normal winter will have much less sunshine. Also, what about when they age, don't they produce much less power. However let's assume they're correct. Is it worth waiting 17 years to break even on the backs of an already strained school budget on a maybe. Maybe you're wrong and it takes 20 or more years to get in the black. Also, they don't mention all the change orders and cost overruns they had to pay out. I smell a rat.

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