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California Schools Get 1.5 Megawatt Solar Plant with Zero Capital Outlay

Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD) of Daly City, CA, covering an area in the south suburbs of San Francisco, has completed installation of solar energy systems at four high schools, a combined 1.5 megawatt project the district expects to provide substantial utility cost savings while producing 2.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWH) of clean energy per year.

The four schools that have installed a combined total of more than 8,500 solar panels are Oceana High School and Terra Nova High School, both located in Pacifica, and Westmoor High School and Jefferson High School, both in Daly City.

A creative approach to financing allowed the district to complete the project with no advance capital outlay. JUHSD instead is relying upon project financing, sponsor equity, and federal renewable energy tax credits, as well as a power purchase agreement at a fixed discount with equipment provider Perpetual Energy Systems.

"In these difficult financial times for public education in California, our district is very excited to begin working with Perpetual," said Steven Fuentes, JUHSD associate superintendent of business services. "[The company] will allow us to implement a program that will bring in much needed revenue while providing services to our district we would otherwise not have staff to accomplish."

Perpetual, a unit of investment and asset management firm The Alliant Co., has similarly financed solar systems for commercial, industrial, and municipal facilities, as well as other educational clients throughout the state of California. Information on partnering with Perpetual on a new solar energy venture can be found here.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.