Solar Carports to Almost Fully Cover Calif. School District’s Electricity

solar carports Del MonteImplementation of solar carports continues to grow. Beyond a single-home or building use, a recent news story shows one particularly forward-thinking project involving these systems. Del Monte Electric, according to a press release, oversaw the completion of a solar carport project that involved adding these panels and systems to 51 schools in the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

Unlike a one-shot system, this large project took 15 months to complete and not only involved Del Monte Electric but also a major solar provider, a construction company, a steel structure company, and an architectural and design firm. Because of their size, the district’s high schools were addressed first, outfitted with photovoltaic panels and systems before the year began. During the four-phase project, the rest were installed throughout the school year.

Beyond the size, coordination appeared to be a challenge. Budget constraints, meeting deadlines, and not impeding district functionality all had to be taken into consideration, and Del Monte Electric, meanwhile, had to train the construction workers on solar theory and installation. Work, as well, was done on multiple sites simultaneously, and for underpad electrical work, three underground crews for boring, drilling, and excavating were further involved.

The $65 million project, funded by the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, may ultimately pay off for the school district in the end, though. As the press release points out, the installation of solar carports and other roof fixtures will cover 90 percent of the utilities – a major help for its cash-strapped schools. The 12mW of photovoltaic power from 28,000 panels will reduce total costs by $3 million per year.

Carbon emissions, as well, will be reduced in the process by the system. The press release goes onto point out that this extensive solar system is expected to eliminate 400,000 tons of carbon emissions over the next 30 years.

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