Manteca Unified School District (MUSD) is increasing its energy efficiency efforts with the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at school sites within the school district. After a multi-year investigation, MUSD staff selected IEC to provide design and construction of the renewable energy systems which include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and wind turbines. IEC is also providing operations & maintenance (O&M) services. The project entailed installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at 26 school sites within the school district, including ground mount and parking lot solar installations as well as small wind turbines.
Total installed solar capacity at the 26 MUSD school sites is approximately 4,500 kilowatts (or 4.5 megawatts). The MUSD solar installations have transformerless string inverters that are more efficient than a central inverter, small in size and, most importantly, quiet. Construction began in spring 2013 and the systems became operational in Fall 2013.
The solar PV systems are expected to produce approximately 6.7 million kWh per year, which is about half of the District’s annual energy consumption. Through Net Energy Metering (NEM), the energy produced by the solar PV systems is used to offset site usage and any excess energy is exported to the grid. Since solar PV systems produce energy in the middle of the day when it is worth the most, the savings realized for the District are greater than 50%. MUSD will be compensated by PG&E for the time-of-use value of the energy. The solar systems are expected to significantly reduce the District’s utility bill. In addition, there were no up-front costs for the District and MUSD did not provide any general fund dollars for the solar installations; instead, the project was funded by government low-interest bonds and California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebates.
"The IEC Team acted as the general contractor for Manteca Unified School District's $30 million Renewable Energy Efficiency Project (REEP) that included installation of 26 solar PV systems across the District. I had the pleasure of working with them during the preliminary design phase of the solar systems and appreciated their professionalism and attention to detail when it came to individual site considerations and constraints. Their Team was personable and responsive to our staff's questions and worked diligently to make the project as streamlined as possible for our Facilities staff. Additionally, the IEC Team has been a valued partner in education and a popular presenter at our Planet Party events for 6th graders. IEC also continues to participate as a member of the District's Leadership on Green Initiatives Committee (L.O.G.I.C) and provide input for PlanetParty planning and other green projects."
~ Victoria Brunn, Coordinator: Sustainability and Energy Education, Manteca USD