A project long in the works for the Toltec Elementary School District is finally coming to fruition at the Arizona City Elementary School (ACES) campus. Electricity-producing solar panels are being put up over the basketball and playground areas on the south side of the campus.
“The district was originally presented with three concepts: roof mount, car shade, or playground shade,” said Toltec Assistant Superintendent Jeff Vanhandel.
“The playground shade construction was the most expensive of the three options, requiring the longest commitment by the district. This option was selected to prioritize giving shade to our students rather than cars and the roof.”
Led by SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials. the total cost of the project is $3,177,739, at no cost to the district. SunEdison is a global leader in polysilicon and silicon wafer manufacturing, the foundation upon which most solar cells and semiconductor devices are built.
The solar panel system, expected to be operational later this month, will provide an annual production of 606,870 kW hours of electricity.
Maintenance of the solar panels will be provided totally by SunEdison for the length of the agreement.
“Steel beams will be padded at the student height level,” said Vanhandel. “If somehow a student or someone else damages a solar panel this is covered by the 100% maintenance agreement with Sun Edison. Solar production data will be available through a Sun Edison web portal for teachers to use in their classroom.”
The solar production meets most but not all of the school’s power needs. These agreements are designed to ensure that the school does not resell power back to the grid.
SunEdison develops, finances, operates and monitors solar energy solutions worldwide, ranging from some of the world’s largest solar deployments to residential customers’ rooftops.
The company’s approach is straightforward and effective: they work with customers individually to customize the solar energy services that will maximize benefits for their specific needs.
SunEdison helps customers achieve solar success in three phases: analysis, design and construction.
SunEdison conducts on-site assessments of customer’s energy needs and solar production potential. From that assessment, SunEdison designs a photovoltaic power system that utilizes the latest technologies, materials and designs to optimize solar energy production.
SunEdison also manages the complete renewable power certification process and performs testing to identify baseline use and savings. The company can then activate the system and generate clean, renewable energy from the sun.
Monitoring and maintenance are performed using state-of-the-art technology, as SunEdison continually monitors and controls system performance. When needed, the company can deploy certified technicians quickly to keep systems running at optimal levels. Customers can check in on the performance of their solar energy service via SunEdison’s client connect portal.
The integration of SunEdison and MEMC gives SunEdison 50 years of scientific research and manufacturing expertise to best serve its customers. MEMC is a customer-focused company with an extensive portfolio of over 750 patents and a world-class research and development department that is driving technical innovation in solar PV technology.