Solar Goes to School
Sep 28, 2010 - Bill Opalka - http://www.renewablesbiz.com
Recently, the San Diego Unified School District
Board of Education approved a partnership with AMSOLAR
Corporation to build 5.2 megawatts of solar power
for district campuses.
"That's probably one of the largest solar projects
for a school system in the United States and probably
the world," Joshua Weinstein, AMSOLAR's managing
partner told me.
The system will bring solar power to 20 sites throughout
the district and will be comprised of 23,000 solar
panels placed on over 80 rooftops. The system will
range is aide from 100 kilowatts to 500 kilowatts
per campus. The company expects to provide 64 percent
of the energy needs of the campuses own which it
AMSOLAR's model is build, own and operate the solar
system and sell the electricity to the customer through
a long-term power purchase agreement, in this case,
for 22 years. That means no up-front costs to the
`We selected the 20 sites based on their overall
consumption and where we could best promote renewable
energy awareness," Weinstein said.
Part of the company's renewable energy ethic is
to help add to the science curriculum, build laptop
charging stations on campus an give grants to teachers
for energy program.
In a sense, AMSOLAR is competing with the incumbent
utility, San Diego Gas & Electric and selling
power at a lower per kilowatt-hour cost the at utility.
The San Diego Unified School District has projected
that it will save between $13 million and $20 million
against its utility costs.
Ground will be broken soon, with the entire project
to be completed in early 2011.
AMSOLAR's business is primarily centered on educational
facilities. It is now building a 1.2-megawatt solar
system on the University of San Diego. It is actively
pursuing school projects not just in California but
also Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.