Arizona District Adds 2.3 Million kWh of Solar Power

Solar power will now provide approximately 60 percent of the electricity at Arizona's Somerton School District. Located in Yuma County, the district decided to go solar in order to save money and teach students about clean energy.

Somerton has signed a 20-year agreement with Constellation, owner of the solar panel systems, to buy the electricity and receive maintenance services. The solar system is expected to create about 2.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually for the district. The district was also able to participate in the Arizona Public Service Company's Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which provides rebates to homes, businesses, schools and other organizations that have renewable energy systems installed.

The project was developed by Kennedy Partners and Smart Energy Capital and built by Core Construction.

"Supporting solar generation helps our district to save operating costs and serves as an educational resource for students," said Jerry Cabrera, human resources and operations director for Somerton School District. "An added benefit is that the panel structures provide needed shade for parking and play areas."

Six-thousand-six-hundred photovoltaic panels were installed at 10 carports and eight shade structures in the district, which consists of Desert Sonora Elementary School, Orange Grove Elementary School, Somerton Middle School, Tierra del Sol Elementary School, and Valle del Encanto Learning Center.

The district celebrated the finish of the solar project with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday at Somerton Middle School.

For more information about Constellation, visit constellation.com. Go to somerton.k12.az.us for information about the Somerton School District.

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