Alternative Energy | News

California District To Save $300,000 Annually with Solar Power

The Hemet Unified School District in Hemet, CA will break ground on a 4.4-megawatt photovoltaic solar system this month.

The system, which district representatives say will save approximately $300,000 in electricity costs, will consist of 19,000 solar modules installed at 17 district sites.

Financed through a SurePath Solar power purchase agreement with Tioga Energy, the system won't cost the district any money upfront. Power purchase agreements are contracts in which the service provider pays for construction and maintenance costs with the agreement that the other party will purchase the energy generated for the life of the contact.

Engineering, procurement, and construction services for all 17 installations will be provided by Johnson Controls.

"We will create a long-term educational tool for thousands of students, allowing them to witness the benefits of clean energy on a daily basis," said Claudio Andreetta, regional vice president and general manager, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. "And these projects will offset an estimated 1,586 tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of 3.4 million vehicle miles not traveled."

"The incorporation of solar power at our schools and operational facilities reflects the district's commitment to promoting environmentally sustainable practices and sets a positive example for the greater Hemet community, all while providing exceptional economic benefits at a time when they are needed most," said Hemet Unified School District Superintendent Steven Lowder. "The District will receive a tremendous benefit without spending a single dollar out-of-pocket."

Hemet Unified School District, covering more than 700 square miles, serves more than 22,000 students with approximately 2,200 employees. More information about the district is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].