ACTON — Acton-Ague Dulce Unified School District will get a solar energy project under a power purchase agreement and contract with California PV Energy 3 unanimously approved by trustees Thursday night.
Acton-Agua Dulce Unified’s Board of Education delayed action on the proposed agreement until after school site councils for Meadowlark Elementary, High Desert Middle and Vasquez High schools provided feedback on the proposed projects.
PFMG will construct, install, operate and maintain solar systems on district sites to generate solar energy. The District will purchase energy generated by the solar systems at a price comparable to or below current retail rates to support the District’s acquisition of cost effective energy.
“I want to thank the Board for giving us the additional time to go through those processes completely and diligently,” Superintendent Larry King said at Thursday’s Board meeting.
The project will see elevated shade structures at Acton Elementary School, which is home to the district office; Agua Dulce Elementary School, home to the Agua Dulce iLEAD Charter School; Meadowlark Elementary School; and High Desert Middle School.
Vasquez High School will get ground mounted panels, which will result in greater savings to the District.
“I think it’s important to solicit the stakeholder engagement, particularly at the junior high, where the shade structure/solar installation would be in the quad,” trustee Michael Fox said.
Fox asked whether the High Desert School Site Council looked forward to having the shade structure for students despite it being in the quad.
“Correct,” King said, adding they vetted the solar project a second time because of the length of time from when the District first considered the project about two years ago.
“I’m supportive if the stakeholders are,” Fox said.
California PV Energy 3, a limited liability company, is a subsidiary of PFMG Solar, a Huntington Beach-based company.
PFMG Solar installed similar solar arrays at 31 school districts in Southern California, including Antelope Valley Union High School District, Palmdale School District and Wilsona School District.
The District will save an estimated $120,000 to $150,000 over the first five years of the project with the ground mounted solar arrays at Vasquez High. The 30-year savings is an estimated $4.67 million to $5.76 million.
“When it comes to me I haven’t looked at cost neutrality. I don’t want to fund something that is not going to pay for itself,” Board President Ken Pfalzgraf said. “This basically puts something on the table that the District doesn’t have capital outlay to build, doesn’t have maintenance costs, and ensures us a competitive market rate in a market that seems to be having a 50% increase in the cost of electricity over a 15-year period.”