Many students across the U.S. left their schools behind for spring break but never returned. What soon followed would be months of educators trying to find the best solution to reach students during a time they had never expected. While parents juggled working from home with continuing their children’s education, one theme stood out — the value of schools.
SunPower has long been a supporter of education. Working hand in hand with school districts across the nation, SunPower solar installations have generated millions in savings. Not only have these dollars been used to pour back into district learning, but solar power has also provided STEAM based learning opportunities.
Kern High School
The Kern High School District (KUSD) is California's largest 9-12 high school district with more than 37,000 students and 4,000 employees. The district hosts 22 megawatts of SunPower solar systems across 27 sites. With an estimated savings of $80 million over 25 years, the school district has planned to put those funds towards enhancing extracurricular programs and upgrading its facilities. SunPower has also worked closely with KHSD to expand the district's commitment to STEM curriculum with Project Lead the Way. SunPower's in-kind contribution to the district is expected to enable KHSD to include more schools in STEM-based curriculum while enhancing the district's existing programs over 20 years.
SunPower’s initial partnership with Porterville United School District (PUSD) began with solar installations at five of its high schools. Upon seeing the major savings this decision brought, the district moved forward with further installations. PUSD now features SunPower solar on 11 of its elementary and middle schools as well as its district office. As a result, PUSD is saving more than $1.2 million per year on energy costs and these savings have helped launch the Academy of Energy and Resource Occupations (AERO). This program provides a career-themed, technical learning environment for students.
San Benito High School
Many educational facilities look for solutions to fight rising utility costs and San Benito High School was no different. Wanting to find a more economical and sustainable solution, the school decided to turn to solar with three SunPower® Helix® carports, totaling to 665.5 kW. The systems offset 88% of the school's electricity use. And the carports not only provide protection against weather extremes but also allow students to thrive in an optimal learning environment from savings generated by solar power.
In addition to helping the next generation see solar in action, SunPower provides a unique value to school districts with the SunPower Horizons Program, a comprehensive educational curriculum covering science, technology, engineering and math. At no additional cost to the district, students can get hands on experience with skills and careers in renewable energy. There are also free resources available on the Horizons website for parents interested in teaching their kids more about solar power.