SolarCraft logo
Request an estimate for solar
415.382.7717 | 707.778.0568

Archive for Case Study, School

Commercial Solar Case Study, Sonoma Academy

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

sonoma solar panels, sonoma acadmey

Rising energy costs have profoundly affected nonprofits and schools, which have to adapt to working on tighter budgets without compromising the quality of their important work. By installing a 207 kW solar electric system, Sonoma Academy will save more than $1,280,000 over the next 25 years allowing that money to flow directly back into education.

Sonoma Academy’s solar power system is an example of their intent to create a sustainable future for their students. It will generate enough electricity to power about 50 average homes and avoid production of 6,266 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per year — equivalent to removing nearly 5 million miles of driving over the next 25 years and comparable to the air pollution removed by 107 acres of trees.

Designed and engineered by SolarCraft, the project was developed by SolEd Benefit Corp of San Rafael, which was formed with the mission to lower the cost of clean energy for schools and public benefit clients.

“We have wanted to go solar from the founding of the Academy, but we needed to preserve capital for growth of the school,” says Derice Hogel, the Director of Finance & Operations.  “This approach was the winning formula – and it looks as though we will have a nice operating savings as well.”

Rather than buy the equipment or take on debt, Sonoma Academy signed a 25-year Solar Power Purchase Agreement with SolEd Solar Holdings III, LLC to buy the clean energy produced and metered by the solar array. Under present Net Energy Metering rules the school’s meter will be credited at established retail values of energy during the bright summer months and on weekends while it uses little energy, and pays a modest cost (eventually declining) for energy delivered.

System Specifications
System Size 207.1 kW DC
180.4 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (753) Suniva 275 W
Inverter (21) HiQ Solar 480w
Mounting System RBI ground mount with earth screws
Estimated Annual kWh 322,590
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Sonoma Academy is the only independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond. The Academy has undertaken a program of environmental excellence, aiming for a zero net-energy standard for its new facilities.

Read more commercial case studies

Commercial Solar Case Study, Liberty School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

petaluma solar panels, solar for schoolsLiberty School is generating its own electricity from sunlight thanks to its 44.7 kilowatt solar installation. Located in West Petaluma, CA, the school’s solar photovoltaic array will reduce their carbon footprint and save thousands of dollars in energy costs for years to come.

The system spans over 2,600 square feet on multiple rooftops, specifically designed by local architect Dan Hardin to accommodate solar.

Enphase Energy microinverters, donated by the Petaluma-based worldwide leader in microinverter technology, will work individually with the system’s 149 LG solar panels to ensure maximum energy production. The school received approximately $24,000 in rebates — one of the last California Solar Initiative rebates available before the program expired.

The system will power classrooms and administrative offices, providing about 70 percent of the school’s annual electrical needs by generating approximately 66,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually — enough each day to power over 20 average homes. The amount of carbon offset by the PV array is equivalent to removing 29 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to eliminating nearly 1.7 million miles of driving or the amount roughly 9 acres of trees could remove.

 

solar panels, petaluma, solar for schools

System Specifications
System Size 44.7 kW DC
39.7 kW AC
Location Petaluma, CA
Solar Panel (149) LG 300 W
Inverter (149) Enphase Energy M250
Mounting System SnapNRack
Estimated Annual kWh 66,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Liberty School, nestled in the rural, dairy ranching area of Petaluma, 50 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, serves pre-k through sixth grade students. Founded in 1857, Liberty School is the oldest school in continuous operation at the same site, with the same name, in Sonoma County. Liberty is the community hub where families meet and build relationships. Many families have been attending Liberty School for generations.

“We are very excited to finish our project with SolarCraft and Enphase Energy and begin saving our local community thousands of dollars that can be better used to educate the students of the Liberty Valley.”
~Christopher Rafanelli, Superintendent/Principal Liberty School

Read more commercial case studies

Commercial Solar Case Study, Windsor High School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Windsor High School solar energyTo control rising energy costs and provide an example in teaching students about energy conservation and sustainability, Windsor High School in Windsor, CA has flipped the switch to solar power. SolarCraft designed and installed a 26 kW solar electric system for their new Digital Communications Facility. The Sonoma County School now captures the sun’s energy to power its facility.

The system consists of 93 SunTech 280 watt solar panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity and will generate approximately 36,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. The roof mounted system spans 1,944 square feet and also helps to shade and protect the roof.

The new system will reduce the school’s utility costs by thousands every year, freeing funds for educating students. Excess power generated during the day is sent back to PG&E for credit towards future use.

Solar power generated from the system will produce enough clean energy each day to power 11 average homes. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 1.6 million miles of driving and spare the air nearly 690 tons of carbon emissions.

The system is expected to pay for itself in 5-6 years, requires minimal maintenance, runs silently, and has an operating life of 25 years or more. It will provide Windsor High School clean, reliable power and energy savings for decades to come.

Windsor, CA solar power

System Specifications
System Size 26.0 kW DC
22.3 kW AC
Location Windsor, CA
Solar Panel (93) SunTech 280 W
Inverter (1) SMA SB7000 (208 V)
(3) SMA SB6000 (208 V)
Mounting System ProSolar (anchored & ballasted)
Estimated Annual kWh 36,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Windsor High School has a unique “core” system for its students to make the large school seem not as large. All students are enrolled in an academic core along with other non-core classes. The core structure incorporates teams of three teachers who work together to deliver instruction through interdisciplinary project-based strategies. Each core of three teachers meets with students on alternating days for 4 ½ hours of continuous instruction to deliver content in three subject areas.

Read more commercial case studies

Commercial Solar Case Study, Ross School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Ross School solar panelsJoining many other green Marin County Schools, Ross School has gone solar. Ross School chose SolarCraft to design and install their 111.7 kilowatt solar electric system, which will provide enormous savings to their facility. The project includes the newly rebuilt main school building and the gymnasium on the property — now powered by the sun.
Phase One of the system was installed on the main building during the school’s massive renovation. It consists of 312 American-made Sharp 240 watt solar modules. The second phase was later installed on the newly completed gymnasium and consists of 154 modules. The school is now able to utilize clean energy that is sustainable and price stable.
The solar panels are mounted on the steel, corrugated roof using an engineered non-penetrating mounting system that is low-profile and attractive on the new buildings. The panels span over 8,174 square feet and help insulate and protect the roof.
The new system will reduce the school’s utility costs by thousands every year, while reducing the load on the local utility grid. Excess power generated during the day is banked by PG&E for credit towards future use.
The solar energy system will generate approximately 161,317 kilowatt hours annually, generating enough clean energy each day to power 56 homes. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 6.8 million miles of driving and spare the air nearly 3,000 tons of carbon emissions.

solar energy, Ross School

System Specifications
System Size 111.7 kW DC
96.1 kW AC
Location Ross, CA
Solar Panel (466) Sharp 240 W
Inverter (1) Satcon PVS-30 (208 V)
(2) Satcon PVS-50 (208 V)
Mounting System ProSolar non-penetrating
Estimated Annual kWh 161,317
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Ross School is a unique single school K-8 district serving 378 children on one campus. Located in the heart of the town of Ross, in Marin County, the school serves the students of Ross and includes sections of Kentfield and San Anselmo, which border the town boundaries. Class sizes in K-8 average less than 20 students. Ross School students reside in the Tamalpais Union High School District.

Read more commercial case studies

Commercial Solar Case Study, Miss Sandie’s School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar energy, schoolMiss Sandie’s School in Novato is now powered by solar! SolarCraft both designed and installed a 16.6 kW solar electric system for the school providing green, renewable power to the facility. Miss Sandie’s School now utilizes clean energy from the sun, which is environmentally friendly, sustainable and price stable.

Miss Sandie’s new solar energy system is highly reliable and easy to maintain. The school is now insulated from energy price hikes, improving their bottom line and easing the strain on future budgeting.

The newly installed solar electric system utilizes (84) Sharp 198 watt solar panels. The low-profile racking system, black frame and hidden hardware create a sleek appearance. Its clean, elegant structure blends beautifully with the school’s roofline.

The solar electric system is expected to generate 23,950 kilowatt hours annually, and spans over 1,338 square feet.

Miss Sandie’s solar electric system will enable them to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 7 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 12 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to the air filtering of 3 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to driving over 852,000 miles.

solar panels school, Novato, CA

System Specifications
System Size 17 kW DC
14 kW AC
Location Novato, CA
Solar Panel (84) Sharp 198W
Inverter (2) SMA SB 7000US
Mounting System Sharp SRS
Estimated Annual kWh 23,950
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Miss Sandie’s School, located in Novato, has over 30 years of experience in early childhood development and education. It’s located in a safe, quiet and friendly residential neighborhood surrounded by walnut trees. The recently remodeled campus has some of the largest and most modern play yards in the county. Miss Sandie’s provides students with the opportunity for intellectual, social and physical growth in a safe, nurturing, supportive and fun environment.

“SolarCraft recently installed a photovoltaic system at my preschool. The entire process was so smooth. The system has eliminated our electric bill and the kids love the fact that their school is powered by the sun. SolarCraft was very accommodating and worked around our school schedule to avoid any inconvenience to my staff and students.They handled every detail from permits to filing for rebates. Every person from SolarCraft was fantastic to work with, there is no question that I would use them again.”
~ Kent Grady, Owner, Miss Sandie’s School

Read more commercial case studies