Large-Scale School Solar Contract Signed in Calif.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mount Diablo Unified School District and SunPower Corp. announced that SunPower was awarded a 30-year contract to design, install and maintain solar power systems at 51 of the district’s schools.
Combined, the systems will generate 11.2 megawatts of energy and will save the school district $192 million over the life of the contract, which is one of the largest such contract to ever be issues in the United States, according to the company.
The solar installations will be completed in phases by early 2012 and will include shade structures in school parking lots and on hard court areas. The systems will be financed through Clean Renewable Energy Bonds secured by the district under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With CREBs the federal government pays most of the interest, further saving the district money. The district will pay a 1.7 percent interest rate, according to reports.
Last year, SunPower built and installed solar power systems for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, the University of California, Merced, Bakersfield College and Mendocino College.