Solar Install Brings Cost Savings and Learning to EVIT Campus

Submitted by Tiffani Nichols

Students attending classes on the East Valley Institute of Technology will benefit from the power of the sun thanks to the Salt River Project’s Solar for Schools program. The EVIT campus is the last of 13 schools in the Valley to receive a 10-kilowatt roof-mounted photovoltaic system.

The program was funded by a $2 million federal stimulus grant through the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy. SRP contributed additional funding and trained SRP employees to install the systems. In addition, SRP will provide each of the selected schools materials and training to educate students about solar energy.

“At EVIT, we are focused on hands-on, technical learning for a better tomorrow. Through this partnership, students will gain an understanding of how solar works and the long-term benefits to their environment” said Leon Spielbusch, director of facilities. “The program will also offset a portion of energy usage on campus and is anticipated to save EVIT approximately $1,765 annually.”

According to SRP, the systems will provide a combined 130 kilowatts of electricity to the Arizona school buildings and will produce approximately 308,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year. The solar energy production will prevent the release of up to 212 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“These systems will allow schools to offset their energy usage while providing a valuable educational tool to their students,” said Debbie Kimberly, SRP Manager of Customer Programs and Marketing. “We look forward to educating the next generation of energy users about the clean, renewable sources that provide electricity today and in the future.”

“Thanks to this program, more and more schools in Arizona are using solar power,” said Leisa Brug, Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy. “And it’s a great investment in Arizona’s energy future as these projects will reduce utility costs over the 25-year life of the equipment.”

The following schools were also awarded systems, which are currently generating solar energy:

In Phoenix: Frank Borman Middle (Cartwright School District); Amy Houston Academy (Roosevelt School District); Cordova Middle and Granada Primary (Alhambra Elementary School District); and Tavan Elementary (Scottsdale Unified School District).

In Mesa: Red Mountain High and Dobson High (Mesa Unified School District) and East Valley Institute of Technology.

In Apache Junction: Four Peaks Elementary (Apache Junction Unified School District).

In Gilbert: Quartz Hill Elementary and Highland Park Elementary (Gilbert Public Schools).

In Chandler: Perry High School and Basha High School (Chandler Unified School District).