Constellation to install 9.4 MW of solar for Arizona school district

Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC), and Amphitheater Public Schools on Dec. 1 announced the start of construction of a 9.4-MW (dc) solar project in Tucson, Arizona.

The solar power system, located across 24 school sites and support facilities, is expected to generate more than 60% of the district’s electricity needs in the first year of operation.

“We are excited about the significant cost-savings and meaningful educational opportunities this solar power system will bring,” said James Burns, executive manager of operational support, Amphitheater Public Schools. “In addition, it will provide much needed shade in play areas and allow the District to demonstrate the viability of clean energy resources to our students, faculty and community.”

The project requires no upfront capital from the district. Constellation will own and operate the solar system. The district will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels from Constellation under a 25-year solar services agreement.

“Constellation is pleased to help Amphitheater Public Schools reduce their energy costs and educate their students about the benefits of renewable energy,” said Brendon Quinlivan, director of origination, distributed energy, for Constellation. “Structuring solar projects as solar service agreements provides energy solutions that may require no upfront capital from customers and provide long-term fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates.”

The solar power system is expected to be completed in mid 2016 and will be comprised of approximately 29,000 photovoltaic panels located on carports, shade canopies and rooftops across 24 locations. The system is expected to generate approximately 16.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year.

Natural Power and Energy, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based commercial solar developer serving companies, schools and government institutions, led the pre-construction development efforts for the solar power system.

“By drastically reducing energy costs over the term of the project the Amphitheater School District can divert those funds to focus on what it does best, which is providing education,” said Rob Dallal, CEO of Natural Power and Energy.

Constellation currently owns and operates more than 300 MW of distributed generation that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the United States, including more than 250 MW of solar installations, and other forms of clean, on-site power supply such as biomass and co-generation. Constellation is a leading competitive retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States.

Natural Power and Energy is a leading commercial solar development, design and construction firm serving schools, governmental, non-profit and corporate clients with financing, design and installation services for medium and large-scale solar systems.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.