William S. Hart Union High School District

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Solar Initiative

Solar Initiative

Update: December, 2014
All solar systems across nine schools have been operational for more than two years. Over that timespan the systems have generated more than 22,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, and have saved the School District approximately $1.1 million in energy costs. PsomasFMG constructed the solar systems and has responsibility for operating and maintaining the systems.

All schools have a web portal accessible by students, teachers, administrators and the community showing instantaneous power (kW), energy produced (kWh) and insolation metrics (sunlight intensity). The web portals are available to view now and are listed below:

Golden Valley
La Mesa
Rancho Pico
Rio Norte
Sierra Vista
West Ranch

The William S. Hart Union School District (WSHUSD) entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in 2012 with PsomasFMG, LLC to buy electricity at a fixed rate at 9 District sites. This 6.4 Megawatt (MW) solar project is estimated to save WSHUSD approximately $18-20 million over the 20-year contract.

The District had no upfront cost or capital investment for the solar system; the Hart District is obligated through the PPA to purchase the power produced from the solar systems. Third party ownership of the system, by an outside investor, allows the District to realize immediate savings and budget more effectively because of predictable future energy costs.

The cost of equipment maintenance and repair, including module cleaning, is included in the cost of the energy to the District. In addition to this, there is a 25-year manufacturer's warranty on the panels and a 20-year warranty on inverters. PsomasFMG monitors the systems throughout the day to ensure they are performing and operational at all times. A service and maintenance team is deployed to fix any deficiencies and also perform cleaning and preventative maintenance to our system is producing the most power possible.

Solar panels were installed on nine campuses predominately in parking lots but also on open land on four schools (see examples below). District wide construction took place between Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, and individual school systems were constructed within 10 to 14 weeks. All systems went into commercial operation on October 2012. Solar shade structures in parking lots now provide approximately 2,300 shaded parking spots for faculty and students.

Depending on the weather and year, the solar systems will generate approximately 9,000 - 11,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually, which is equivalent to 75-85% of the 9 school's historical energy usage. This allows for maximum savings to the District by offsetting the highest Southern California Edison (SCE) rates and also providing a cushion for potential reductions in use.
During the day, sunlight hits photovoltaic (PV) panels and is converted into electricity. When the system produces more power during sun light hours than is needed, the utility meter literally spins backwards, accumulating credits with Southern California Edison (SCE). Net metering allows excess generation in any given month to be carried over to the next billing month, typically for up to one year.

About PsomasFMG
PsomasFMG is a single source provider of solar energy systems and solutions for schools, businesses and communities. Located in Huntington Beach, CA, we are the #1 builder of solar for schools in Southern California. Our experience and familiarity with school solar projects enables us to delight our clients as we move through the project - from energy analysis and planning through construction into operations and maintenance, all while maximizing the client's energy savings. We call this "Energy Engineered." For PsomasFMG, solar is not just a business, it is our investment in the future. Together we can help solve the global energy crisis - one community at a time.