Education is one of many sectors progressing in the area of solar photovoltaic deployment to provide energy savings for a sustainable future. Many school’s are not yet aware of the many added benefits that solar can bring to their campuses while offsetting energy costs.
School districts with the opportunity to take advantage of production-based incentives need to look for a solar company that can fully implement the project to ensure full benefits of the awarded incentives. When the incentives are won, the school should enter a Solar Service Agreement (SSA) with a solar company to create a now economically viable plan for the system. The benefits that the district receives from entering an SSA with the solar company for the typical 25-year period usually are: a significantly reduced rate compared to the traditional utility charges, predictability and price-security of electricity costs, economic flexibility through system purchase options at different times throughout the contract duration, and stress-free maintenance and operation for the school. On the softer side, the school’s deployment of solar photovoltaic sets an example for faculty, parents, the community at large, and of particular importance, the school’s students. After the systems are installed and taken online, stress-free operation and maintenance should ensue, ensuring that the school and/or district receives ongoing ideal benefits.
“Real-time photovoltaic system monitoring after installation, a step that most inexperienced ‘solar companies’ forget to include, is key in realizing projected results. Green Choice’s real-time monitoring allows for maximum system performance and to avoid problems through preventative maintenance,” said Green Choice Solar Vice President of Business Development K-12/Higher Education Division, Michael Green.
Green Choice Solar, a provider for full-service non-residential solar integration in the Southwest United States, has created a streamlined process for schools and school districts to benefit from solar deployment. With a truly integrated approach, Green Choice Solar acts as an all-inclusive service provider for developing projects and maximizing ROI for its clients. Knowing that many projects fall through due to financing hurdles, excessive change orders and poor upfront engineering or lack of securing incentives, Green Choice’s approach circumvents these issues through its comprehensive, full-service approach. These services include project financing, system design and engineering, proprietary application development, permitting and construction, system operations and, very importantly, ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
Schools are able to transform their campuses when adding solar applications. Solar panels can be deployed via one or multiple applications including shaded parking structures, ballasted rooftop systems and shaded playground areas. By combining these applications throughout a district, the school’s premises are upgraded and improved.
A new application that Green Choice Solar has found extremely attractive to, and beneficial for, education clients is structures built for panels in the bus pick-up and drop-off lanes. These energy generating structures additionally contribute to the schools by providing shade that helps cool down the school buses faster, saving gas and shading waiting students.
The decision to shift to solar shows intelligent leadership by districts to save money, create a sustainable energy plan, and provide students with additional benefits; all without upfront investment.
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