The Murrieta Valley Unified School District is reaping the benefits of solar power systems totaling more than 2.3 MW at all 19 district schools and the district support center. Designed and installed by SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy services, the new installations comprise more than 10,000 solar panels mounted atop parking-lot carports, and are expected to save the district about $23 million over 25 years. SolarCity is now providing energy services to more than 300 schools and universities in the U.S., and has more than 2,500 employees.
The school district spends about $3.2 million each year on electricity. The solar project is expected to save the district, at minimum, $1 million per year for the first five years. Over the next 25 years, the district is projecting to save $23 million by going solar.
“As these solar projects demonstrate, we want to continue to save money while doing our part for our environment,” said Murrieta Valley Unified Assistant Superintendent Bill Olien. “The savings our district will reap from going solar will benefit our general fund to enhance the academic excellence we strive to maintain for our students.”
PV Solar Report, which monitors the California residential solar market, named Murrieta one of the top ten solar cities in the state late last year. The rating was based on reservations for the new California Solar Initiative (CSI) solar rebates by customers of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in the first eight months of 2011. Murrieta was the smallest municipality on the list, which included San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.
“The District is showing its students, faculty, and community members how to use California’s most abundant natural resource to address financial and environmental challenges, by applying modern technology to earth sciences,” said Jeff Palmer, SolarCity Project Development Manager.