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Orange Unified School District Begins Construction On 2.1 Megawatts Of Solar With Ameresco

Orange County school district expects to save $120,000 in the first year of the solar energy generation systems becoming operational

Orange Unified School District and Ameresco, Inc., today announced construction will begin on a total of 2.1 megawatts of solar energy. This is the first solar project in Orange Unified’s history.

The project consists of a combination of ground-mounted and shade canopies at eight sites, generating 3,552,716 million kWh of renewable electricity its first year of operation – reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 2,512 metric tons. This is the annual equivalent to 533 passenger cars driven for one year.

“The ability to tap into on-site solar energy makes our schools less reliant on the grid and dramatically reduces our carbon footprint,” said OUSD Energy Manager Andrew Durrett. “Transitioning to renewable energy sources such as solar is a cornerstone of this district’s long-term sustainability plan.”

”Under the power purchase agreement approved by the Board of Education, Ameresco will be responsible for all costs including the design, construction, operation, and ongoing maintenance of the solar panels,” added Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Rivera. “In today’s dollars, the anticipated savings in utility costs to be realized by this agreement is projected at $5.3 million, which has been confirmed by an independent third-party energy specialist.”

“OUSD has a proven track record of balancing environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility. This project is yet another example of the District’s innovative leadership to continuously improve the learning environment for students,” said Ameresco Vice President Bob Georgeoff.

“By connecting the district’s eight solar photovoltaic systems to the local electric utility, Orange Unified School District will be able to monetize its new energy assets and reinvest proceeds back into our classrooms for our well deserving students,” stated Superintendent of Schools Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.