Constellation completes series of solar projects for Arizona schools

Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC), and Amphitheater Public Schools on Dec. 6 announced the completion of a 9.3-MW (dc) solar project in Tucson, Ariz.

The solar power systems, located across 25 school sites and support facilities, are expected to generate more than 60% of the district’s electricity needs in the first year of operation. In honor of project completion, a celebration and ribbon-cutting were held Dec. 6 at Richard B. Wilson K-8 School.

The project required no upfront capital from the district. Constellation owns and operates the solar system. The district will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels from Constellation under a 25-year solar services agreement. The project offers real-time data monitoring capabilities that will be integrated into the school curriculum to help students learn how solar electricity works and about the benefits of renewable energy.

“Constellation is pleased to help Amphitheater Public Schools manage their energy costs and educate their students about the benefits of renewable energy,” said Brendon Quinlivan, executive director of distributed energy origination for Constellation. “Constellation welcomes Amphitheater Public Schools to the growing list of K-12 school customers that have adopted Constellation’s solar energy solutions programs. Since 2012, we’ve helped 150 schools install over 55 megawatts of solar generation in the greater Tucson and Phoenix communities.”

The solar power systems consist of approximately 29,000 photovoltaic panels located on carports, shade canopies and rooftops across 25 locations. The systems are expected to generate approximately 16.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year.

Natural Power and Energy, an Arizona-based commercial solar developer serving companies, schools and government institutions, led the pre-construction development efforts for the solar system. Natural Power and Energy’s solar energy business was acquired by Urban Energy Solutions Inc. in November 2016.

“By 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 John Mitman, director of engineering and development, for Natural Power and Energy.

Constellation currently owns and operates more than 400 MW of distributed generation that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the United States, including approximately 300 MW of solar installations, and other forms of clean, on-site power supply such as biomass and co-generation.

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.