In May 2015, Burton School District partnered with SolarCity to build a solar system paired with DemandLogic™, a smart energy storage system that reduces energy costs by using stored electricity to lower peak demand.
SolarCity installed the system at no cost to the district, across eight elementary and middle schools—as well as additional solar production at a district office. The installations total more than 1.4 megawatts of solar energy capacity. Utilizing funds from Prop 39—money allocated for sustainable energy projects—the district purchased SolarCity’s state-of-the-art battery storage technology, providing an additional 360 kilowatts (720 kilowatt hours) to reduce peak demand.
With a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the district will only pay for the energy the system produces, at a rate less than what is offered by the local utility company. The new solar systems are expected to save the district more than $1 million over the lifetime of the agreement, and DemandLogic could save thousands more on demand charges each year. The systems are expected to generate 2.3 million kilowatt hours of solar energy annually, and enough over the life of the contract to power more than 4,000 homes for a year.
In addition to redirecting money that would normally go toward energy cost back to educational programs, the solar array will also help avoid more than 43 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and save more than 203 million gallons of water*, an especially important benefit in drought-stricken California.