California Schools Choose Solar

Sacramento solar

California Schools Choose Solar

California is the leading state when it comes to solar power. The University of California, Davis and Sacramento State, in particular, have taken major strides toward a more sustainable future. As a provider of solar power solutions to California schools, the team at Energy Saving Pros in Sacramento loves to see local solar projects taking shape in our community. 

Why Do California Schools Choose Solar?

Thanks to the Third-Party Solar PV Power Purchase Agreement, California has been able to become one of the top five states for solar schools. A power purchase agreement (PPA) allows schools to have solar power solutions installed at little or no cost from a third-party company. The third party owns and maintains the system and sells the power the system generates back to the customer at a fixed rate. 

The fixed rate of a PPA is often lower than the local utility company’s rate for electricity. So, schools in California are able to affordably go solar while continuing to save money in the long run. There are also many other benefits to solar-powered schools. Along with saving money, solar panel installation helps schools prepare for power outages, become more energy-efficient, and encourage sustainable energy in local communities.

UC Davis Installs Solar Panels Across Campus

The University of California, Davis in Sacramento has made notable progress toward its climate neutrality goals over the past few years by turning to solar power.  

For example, in 2012, UC Davis installed solar panels across campus rooftops and parking lots. The UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento also features solar panels on one of its parking structures.

In 2015, UC Davis completed the construction of the South Campus Large Solar Power Plant. This solar farm is the largest university campus solar installation in the nation. Thanks to the solar power plant, UC Davis efficiently produces power while significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of a major student housing project, UC Davis completed solar panel installation on The Green at West Village dorm on campus in 2021. The dorm features a collection of solar panels to offset all of the energy that it spends. As a result, The Green at West Village has become a net-zero building. 

Sacramento State’s Future in Solar Power

Sacramento State is working to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2040. As of 2021, the installation of an array of solar panels has been underway for one of their parking lots. This project will include the future installation of solar panels on two additional parking structures as well.

Sacramento State already has solar panels atop two university buildings. After completing the installations for their parking lots and structures, up to 20% of their power per year will be from renewable sources. 

In 2015, Sacramento State students competed in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathalon. Students built the “Reflect Home,” which features a collection of clear panels that provide photovoltaic power while allowing natural sunlight to pass through. 

The Reflect Home now resides in the campus’s Arboretum, a botanical garden of various trees and other plants. Students are currently transforming The Reflect Home into Sacramento’s second Living Building, and plan to complete work in 2023.

Solar Power Solutions for California Schools

If you’re interested in commercial solar services for your school, Energy Saving Pros in Sacramento can help. Whether you administer a small school or a university, we can help you find the perfect solar technology for your budget. Call 916-259-2501 today to request a free quote.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/28/2022). Photo by Nuno Marques on Unsplash