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Solar schools for Santa Cruz

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November 15, 2007

Solar schools: Standley Middle School (147 kW) in San Diego

Solar schools: Standley Middle School (147 kW) in San Diego

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November 16, 2007 The sunny state of California continues to lead the way in solar energy production. In January, the state launched a 10-year Solar Initiative program offering $2.1 billion in rebates for residential and commercial solar systems. The uptake of clean energy is also forging ahead in the public sector, with the latest announcement coming from Santa Cruz County where UPC Solar has won a contract for a 950kW project in the city school system.

Solar crystalline PV systems will be built for nine Santa Cruz City Schools totaling more than 950 kW of installed capacity. UPC Solar has been awarded the contract to build systems at seven of the nine schools in which Santa Cruz City Schools will have solar power systems built.

The project will use amorphous thin film product from Solar Integrated which is commonly referred to as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). Systems are already operational at a number of sites including three San Diego Unified School District Schools - Standley Middle School (147 kW), Tierra Santa Elementary (126 kW) and Erickson Elementary (136 kW).

The new project will be designed, installed, owned and operated by UPC Solar under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Santa Cruz City Schools District. The systems will provide 90% of each school’s total annual electricity requirements and 100% of the most expensive “peak demand” requirements. Importantly, the projects will avoid annual greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions by 1,774,008 pounds, Nitrogen Oxides (NO_x ) emissions by 613 pounds and Sulfur Dioxide (SO_2 ) emissions by 91 pounds.

The undertaking will not only provide environmental benefit to the region but also important cost savings to the school system involved. “The Santa Cruz City School system is also providing an important leadership message regarding the environment to the students, parents, school staff and the local community. We’re excited to have the Santa Cruz City School system as one of our long-term green energy customers,” said Morten Sissener, President and CEO, UPC Solar.

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