Irvine Unified Adds 3 Solar Installations, Expects To Save up to $8 Million

The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has completed solar installations at three schools, bringing the total number of district schools powered by solar energy to 22 and increasing anticipated 20-year cost savings to $5-$8 million.

The new installations, along with the other 19, will be owned and operated by SunEdison, the company that installed them, and their financing partners. SunEdison is also working with the district and architects to incorporate solar energy into the design of new schools the district will be building in anticipation of 1,200 additional students annually.

"We're proud to announce that we are anticipating $5 million to $8 million on avoided energy costs over the next 20 years by working with SunEdison," said Mark Sontag, director for math, science and career technical education at Irvine Unified School District, in a prepared statement. "We accomplished this with zero up-front costs, and zero maintenance costs through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison. That extra budget means more books, more classes and more teachers for our students. As the largest solar powered school district in Orange County with over 5.4 megawatts (MW) installed, we're taking this opportunity to educate our children on the benefits solar energy can bring to the community."

IUSD serves more than 30,000 K-12 students with 24 elementary schools, six middle schools, four high schools and one continuation high school. 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].

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