The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has joined with Onyx Renewable Partners, L.P. to introduce a photovoltaic carport structure at Cadence Park K-8 School—the 5th solar energy project with the district and a significant milestone for one of the top 10 districts in California for renewable energy. With seven more schools planned for solar by 2021, IUSD has set a goal to lead the state in sustainability and be the first to initiate a Net–Zero energy program.
Ultimately, by 2021 the solar power provided will produce enough energy to offset the energy consumed for all campuses, district wide. Onyx in conjunction with Southern California Edison has tailored a preferred path for IUSD capturing State incentives available for educational entities exclusively.
The Cadence Park solar energy system is designed to generate approximately 840kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of consuming nearly 67,000 gallons of gasoline, driving almost 1.5 million miles in an average passenger vehicle or charging 75 million smart phones. It will save the school approximately 51% in energy costs annually while providing the students with educational benefits. Onyx provided an accompanying curriculum for fourth graders at Cadence Park to analyze PV System data and learn about solar production value.
“We are proud of the work we are doing with the Unified School District in California,” said David Brian – Vice President of Business Development from Onyx. “The energy and cost savings we can help the schools achieve are important, but we know that educating children about the importance of clean, sustainable and economically viable energy will have an even greater impact on our world far into the future.”
Ja Kao, President & CEO of Onyx Renewable Partners Opening Remarks to IUSD 4th Grade Green Team Members.
“Onyx has been a wonderful partner to us as we seek to transition to renewable energy at our school and schools across the district,” said Jennifer Razo – Sustainability Supervisor from Irvine Unified School District. “Watching this project come together while working through the curriculum brought the topic to life for our children and I’m confident it will have a positive impact on their understanding of the important topics of energy use and climate change.”
“Projects like these make us proud to work with clean energy providers like Onyx,” said Bilal Khan, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone Energy Partners. “The installation itself is educational, it will provide cost savings to the school and advances the transition to renewable energy.”
The system comprises 1,380 panels for over 500KW of solar power at peak production. It will offset nearly 51% of the school’s electricity usage. Construction began in July of this year and was completed earlier this month. To date, Onyx has partnered with 15 Unified School Districts in the state and on a national level, has partnered with school districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.