PORTERVILLE, Calif., Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Porterville Unified School District (PUSD) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) are celebrating the installation of 3.7 megawatts of high efficiency SunPower solar-electric systems at six district schools. The systems are expected to reduce the district's electricity costs by $44 million over the next 25 years.
"This project will allow Porterville Unified School District to significantly reduce our electricity costs at the schools receiving these systems and recover valuable funds needed for our academic programs," said Superintendent Dr. John Snavely. "By partnering with SunPower, we are maximizing our savings as well as the District's use of clean, renewable energy. It is the right thing to do for our students and our community."
SunPower is installing ground-mounted solar arrays as well as solar shade structures in school parking lots, taking advantage of underutilized space and providing needed shade. The systems use high efficiency SunPower solar panels, the most efficient panels on the market today.
"Porterville Unified School District can rely on its high efficiency SunPower solar systems to deliver guaranteed performance for the next 25 years or more," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "SunPower works with school districts across California to reduce operating costs and repurpose the savings to the classroom. It is extremely rewarding to deliver needed savings to our public schools with power from the sun."
The district's systems were financed through Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs), allowing them to own the systems and receive the full benefit of the energy cost savings and incentive payments.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PUSD solar power systems will avoid production of almost 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years, the equivalent of removing approximately 20,000 cars from California's roads.
In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, SunPower is collaborating with PUSD's successful Pathways program (http://www.pusdpathways.org/) whose mission includes preparing students for careers in the expanding technological knowledge-based economy. SunPower sponsored a Summer Solar Science Program for 16 PUSD Pathways students. The week-long program, developed in partnership with the Tulare Office of Education and District teachers, featured solar-focused curriculum with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), blending lectures and field trips with problem-solving discussions and practical applications of knowledge.
"For 20 years, I've worked on business-sponsored projects that connect hands-on experience to the classroom," said Randy Wallace, director, Tulare County Office of Education. "The SunPower Solar Science Academy is by far the most organized and engaging project I've seen. I'm amazed at the knowledge staff and students are gaining as a result of the program."
About Porterville Unified School District
Porterville Unified School District (PUSD) serves the southern portion of Tulare County in central San Joaquin Valley. PUSD provides a wide variety of educational options for approximately 13,500 students in an area covering over 3,000 square miles. The district is composed of a state pre-school, ten elementary schools, three middle schools, four comprehensive high schools, a charter magnet high school, a charter independent study high school, three alternative education campuses, and an adult school.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
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SOURCE SunPower Corp.