MUHSD Board Approves Expansive Solar Project
In its ongoing efforts to become a more environmentally-sustainable district, Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) is partnering with ENGIE Services U.S. (ENGIE) to install solar panels in parking lots at all of its comprehensive sites. A power purchase agreement (PPA) with the energy company was unanimously approved by the Board at a recent board meeting.
As part of the agreement, ENGIE will install and maintain the solar arrays with no upfront cost to MUHSD and the PPA will allow the district to purchase energy from ENGIE at a fixed rate for the entire 28-year lifespan of the contract. When the contract expires, the district can either purchase the systems or have them removed at no cost to MUHSD.
“We are thrilled to partner with ENGIE on this sustainable energy project as the district moves toward reducing its environmental impact,” said MUHSD Superintendent Alan Peterson. “And not having to worry about potential increases in our energy rates for the next 28 years is huge when it comes to projecting budgets each year.”
In addition to the energy savings and shade benefits, ENGIE offers a classroom component that MUHSD plans to integrate into the district’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program via hands-on activities, energy and sustainability lesson plans and professional development for teachers.
“Our Public Sector ENGIE Services U.S. team is proud to help MUHSD launch its first district-wide solar program with integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) solutions,” shared ENGIE Vice President Courtney Jenkins. “With clean energy generation expected to cover ~90% of MUHSD’s electricity needs, the District will be in a laudable position to redirect energy savings to other mission-critical activities, including dedicated CTE engagements for students interested in careers helping to lead the zero-carbon transition of the future. We are excited to partner together and help Merced’s vision come to life.”
Installation of the structures is set to begin in the summer of 2020.