Constellation Expands Solar Portfolio with 9.3MW Project

The solar electricity generated by the project will be purchased by Amphitheater Public Schools under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Brendon Quinlivan

Brendon Quinlivan

Tucson, Ariz.— Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., and the Amphitheater Public School District announced the completion of a 9.3-megawatt (DC) solar project in Tucson, Ariz. The systems are located across 25 school sites and support facilities, and are expected to generate more than 60 percent of the district’s electricity needs in the first year of operation.

“We are excited about the significant cost-savings and meaningful educational opportunities this solar power system will bring,” James Burns, executive manager of operational support at Amphitheater Public Schools, said in prepared remarks. “In addition, it will provide much needed shade in play areas and allow the district to demonstrate the viability of clean energy resources to our students, faculty and community.”

Constellation is the owner and operator of the solar power systems. The electricity generated will be purchased by the district under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The solar facility is expected to result in savings of $11 million to $23 million in energy costs over the term of the agreement.

“Constellation is pleased to help Amphitheater Public Schools manage their energy costs and educate their students about the benefits of renewable energy,” said Brendon Quinlivan, executive director of distributed energy origination for Constellation. “Constellation welcomes Amphitheater Public Schools to the growing list of K-12 school customers that have adopted Constellation’s solar energy solutions programs. Since 2012, we’ve helped 150 schools install over 55 megawatts of solar generation in the greater Tucson and Phoenix communities.”

The solar power systems consist of approximately 29,000 photovoltaic panels located on carports, shade canopies and rooftops across 25 locations, and are expected to generate roughly 16.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year. According to the company’s statement, generating the same amount of electricity using the non-renewable sources would result in the release of approximately 11,519 tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent emissions from 2,433 vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data for the region.

Natural Power and Energy led the pre-construction development efforts for the solar power system. In November 2016, Urban Energy Solutions Inc. acquired Natural Power and Energy’s solar energy business.

“By reducing energy costs over the term of the project the Amphitheater School District can divert those funds to focus on what it does best, which is providing education,” said John Mitman, director of engineering and development for Natural Power and Energy.

Constellation currently owns and operates more than 400 megawatts of distributed generation for commercial and government customers across the U.S. that are complete or are under construction, 300 megawatts of which are of solar origin, as well as other forms of clean, on-site power supply such as biomass and co-generation.