SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD), SolarCity® and the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center today announced completion of a model sustainability project that has brought solar power systems and energy-efficient lighting to Woodland High School and three elementary schools in the district: Whitehead, Maxwell, and Tafoya. Together, the new technologies are expected to save the district more than $20,000 on electricity costs in their first year of operation alone.
This is the second round of solar projects SolarCity has completed for the district, bringing the number of sites in their solar portfolio up to 10. Previously, SolarCity installed solar arrays at the District Office, Gibson, Freeman, Plainfield, and Zamora elementary schools, and at Pioneer High School. The SolarCity arrays, which consist of more than 8,800 panels, will provide enough clean power to offset about 68 percent of electricity needs at the sites where solar panels are installed.
"Woodland Joint Unified School District strives to serve as an example of environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility," said WJUSD Energy Manager Rob Hutchinson. "We see these new projects as a model for K–12 schools nationwide who want to spend less on energy bills while simultaneously contributing to the betterment of our environment. Solar power and the deployment of advanced lighting technologies are two tools that help us continue to decrease our operating costs as well as our carbon footprint."
UC Davis's California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) assisted the district in selecting energy-efficient lighting for the solar-paneled carports at its four newest solar sites. The carport lighting consists of energy-efficient induction lighting from EverLast, equipped with motion sensors that reduce light levels when the area is vacant. Adaptive lighting also reduces light pollution and can enhance security.
"Energy-efficiency best practices and renewables must go hand-in-hand," said CLTC Director Michael Siminovitch. "What seems like a subtle addition of motion sensors on the already efficient lighting reduces energy use by a significant amount. CLTC case studies show that this feature reduces energy use up to 50 percent compared to lighting that is on all the time, regardless of whether the area is occupied." Siminovitch added, "The pairing of solar canopies with adaptive lighting is a design standard at UC Davis and, now, at Woodland Unified. Hopefully, going forward, this will become the standard in K–12 schools across California."
The solar arrays can provide more than 2,100 kilowatts of solar generating capacity and allow the district to pay lower rates for solar electricity than it currently pays for utility power. WJUSD paid nothing up front for the solar systems, and the energy-efficient lighting was included in the monthly purchase of energy. SolarCity provides free installation, maintenance, and ongoing monitoring over the course of the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The solar electricity cost is also reduced by a performance-based incentive provided by PG&E and the California Solar Initiative.
The solar systems will prevent more than 57 million pounds of annual carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years, the equivalent of planting nearly 2.5 million trees or taking nearly 5,000 cars off the road.
"With today's economic and environmental pressures, the status quo is no longer acceptable for California's schools," said SolarCity Project Development Manager Anastasia Beckett. "SolarCity is proud to partner with two such outstanding institutions to lead the way to a brighter, more efficient future for the Woodland Joint Unified School District."
This release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding expected savings, expected electricity offsets, and assumptions relating to the foregoing. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved, if at all. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking statements. You should read the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which identifies certain of these and additional risks and uncertainties. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
SolarCity® (Nasdaq:SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company offers solar power, energy efficiency and electric vehicle services, and makes clean energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. SolarCity currently serves 14 states and signs a new customer every five minutes. Visit the company online at http://www.solarcity.com and follow the company on Facebook & Twitter.
The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) is a not-for-profit RD&D facility dedicated to advancing energy-efficient lighting and daylighting technologies. Part of the Department of Design at the University of California, Davis, CLTC includes full-scale laboratories for research and development. Staff also provide instruction to undergraduate and graduate students of lighting design, as well as professional development courses and educational resources for those in the lighting and building industries. Connect with CLTC online at http://cltc.ucdavis.edu or on Facebook.
About UC Davis
For more than 100 years, UC Davis has been one place where people are bettering humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, over 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. Learn more at http://www.ucdavis.edu.