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Casa Grande UHSD Plans Solar Energy Project

The Casa Grande Union High School District will undertake a solar power project anticipated to produce up to 75 percent of the district’s energy needs.

Based in Casa Grande, AZ, the school district will develop a 4.35-Megawatt energy production array in conjunction with Constellation, a retail energy provider that is part of the Exelon Corp., with the business financing the project and retaining ownership of the system.

The district in turn will purchase the energy received through the new project with payment for energy made at a fixed rate as part of a 20-year agreement between the school and the company.

Four sites across the district will be utilized for energy production with completion set to take place by December 2012 .

The four sites involved in the project include:

  • Vista Grande High School;
  • Casa Grande High School;
  • Casa Verde High School campus; and
  • Casa Grande’s district transportation center.

"The new solar power systems will help the district to maintain stable electricity costs and serve as an educational resource for our students to learn about renewable energy,” said Shannon Goodsell, superintendent of Casa Grande Union High School District.

The project involves 18,232 photovoltaic panels, which will be stationed on 43 carport structures. Roughly, the yearly electrical generating capacity of the project will be 7 million kilowatt-hours.

The project is part of a portfolio of projects, involving Constellation, that amount to over 100 megawatts of solar energy production.

"Hosting on-site solar generation is an attractive option for customers to achieve environmental goals and control energy costs without significant upfront capital investment," said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and energy efficiency sales for Constellation. "Constellation congratulates Casa Grande Union High School District for its commitment to renewable energy and is proud to bring another solar project online for Arizona schools."

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