RICHMOND, Calif. and SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) will begin construction of SunPower® Helix™ solar systems at 34 school sites in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The solar installations will include carports, shade structures and rooftop systems and will be constructed over the next year, with the first phase being operational in January.
The SunPower Helix systems will generate approximately 6.3 megawatts (MW) of clean power and are estimated to provide WCCUSD with more than $53 million in electricity savings over the next 25 years. On completion, SunPower estimates that 76 percent of the participating schools' electricity will be provided through the SunPower Helix carport systems. WCCUSD will buy power at a competitive rate under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunPower and will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.
"Installing solar aligns with our Green School Initiative, which emphasizes energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption. We'll be able to significantly reduce our energy costs and redirect those dollars toward other District priorities that benefit students," WCCUSD Superintendent Matt Duffy said. "Having solar at school sites also creates additional opportunities to focus on green education, environmental responsibility and clean energy, exposing our students to even more STEM-related curriculum and concepts."
"With many employees living in the district, we're thrilled that WCCUSD has chosen SunPower for their renewable energy needs. The district will gain significant value for many years to come through the combination of a power purchase agreement and the SunPower Helix systems," said Bill Kelly, SunPower vice president. "Districts are challenged to make the most of limited resources, so reducing electricity costs through innovative solutions, while at the same time letting students experience the great potential of solar power, is a win-win."
SunPower will install solar panels using SunPower's high efficiency interdigitated back contact (IBC) cell technology, the most efficient on the market today. SunPower's E-Series and X-Series DC solar panels are the world's first and only solar panels to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver designation for the sustainable practices and materials used in their manufacturing.
A leader in delivering innovative energy solutions to California school districts, SunPower has installed more than 135 megawatts in 30 districts. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this is enough to power 33,750 average California homes.
SunPower goes the extra mile from industry-leading solar solutions to life-changing educational experiences. Committed to help inspire and educate the next generation of energy leaders, SunPower delivers a hands-on educational opportunity, the SunPower Horizons™ program, design to spark students' curiosity about science and technology, while giving them the tools they need for success in any academic pursuit. Specifically, SunPower hosted more than 35 students and 12 teachers from the West Contra Costa Unified School District in the popular Summer Solar Energy Academy, awarded a grant in 2014 for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum enhancements, and currently mentors and provides paid internships to students who are active on Richmond High School's award-winning robotics team.
About West Contra Costa Unified School District
West Contra Costa Unified School District serves a diverse student population of some 29,000 students at 52 schools in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The belief that all students can achieve at high levels of proficiency and that the effects of institutionalized racism can be mitigated is central to how equity is viewed in the District. As a Full Service Community Schools district, WCCUSD works with its community partners to provide the resources necessary to achieve educational success, well-being and self-efficacy for students, families and communities. Among other initiatives, the District has embarked on ensuring that every school has a college-going culture supported by the resources necessary to ensure that students are eligible for, and successful at the college of his or her choice. For more information, visit the District website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
As one of the world's most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower's more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. For more information about how SunPower is changing the way our world is powered, visit www.sunpower.com.
SunPower's Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding expected project timelines, projected energy output, and expected cost savings. These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy, challenges inherent in constructing and maintaining certain of our large projects, and fluctuations or declines in the performance of our solar panels and other products and solutions. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is included in filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading "Risk Factors." Copies of these filings are available online from the SEC or on the SEC Filings section of our Investor Relations website at investors.sunpowercorp.com. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.