TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation and a leading competitive retail energy supplier, and Amphitheater Public Schools (the District) today announced the start of construction of a 9.4-megawatt (DC) solar generation project in Tucson, Ariz. The solar power system, located across 24 school sites and support facilities, is expected to generate more than 60 percent 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 power system. The District will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels from Constellation under a 25-year solar services agreement. The project will result in an expected savings of $11 million to $23 million in energy costs for the District over the term of the agreement, according to the District.
The project will offer 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. Students will be able to observe how solar energy is powering their schools, and be introduced to potential careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.
“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. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of approximately 16,830 tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 3,543 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data for the region.
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 megawatts of distributed generation that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the United States, including more than 250 megawatts of solar installations, and other forms of clean, on-site power supply such as biomass and co-generation.
By structuring its solar projects as power purchase agreements or solar services agreements, Constellation offers solar installations that may require no upfront capital from customers and may provide fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates. Constellation commercial customers, universities, college systems, hospitals and government agencies interested in on-site solar installations may contact Constellation at email@example.com or 1-877-427-2005.
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. Constellation's family of retail businesses serves more than 2.5 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100. Baltimore-based Constellation is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion, and more than 32,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation's cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Learn more at http://www.constellation.com/pages/default.aspx or on Twitter at @ConstellationEG.
About Amphitheater Public Schools
Named for the five chains of mountains that surround the city of Tucson like a “beautiful natural amphitheater,” Amphitheater Public Schools has a long history of excellence dating back to 1893. Today, the District consists of 20 campuses and nearly 14,000 students. Amphitheater Public Schools offer a demanding and rigorous curriculum. Our educators focus on ensuring students develop the skills necessary for success in higher education as well as in today’s workplace, including creativity and innovation, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Learn more at www.amphi.com or on Twitter at @AmphiSchools.
About Natural Power and Energy
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. Learn more at www.naturalpowerandenergy.com.