Valley Center – Pauma Unified School District

Valley Center – Pauma Unified School District (VCPUSD) serves 4,000 students in grades PK – 12 in the beautiful rural communities of Valley Center and Pauma in northern San Diego County. VCPUSD partnered with ForeFront Power to develop a 1 MW solar energy portfolio made up of solar parking canopies at 4 school sites in the District: Valley Center High School, Primary School, Elementary School / District Office, and Middle School. The District is now expected to save an estimated $9.2 million on electricity costs over the life of this solar energy system.

The 1 MW solar energy portfolio contributes to the State of California’s sustainability and resiliency goals by generating 1,700,000 (kwh) of clean, renewable electricity for California’s electrical grid. The solar energy portfolio will also help the District avoid an estimated 1,300 tons of CO2 emissions per year which is equivalent to 150 nearby homes’ annual energy use or taking 270 gas-powered cars off the road each year.

A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ForeFront Power enabled VCPUSD to develop its project at no upfront cost and without using bond funds. Through its partnership with ForeFront Power, the District has access to a real-time performance monitoring platform as well as customizable renewable energy curriculum support that enhances the existing energy, environment, and sustainability elements of Valley Center Pauma USD’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education for students. The solar canopies also support VCPUSD’s fleet electrification in their transition from diesel-fueled to electric-powered school buses.

In May 2023, VCPUSD and ForeFront Power held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Valley Center Elementary School to commemorate the completion of the 1MW solar portfolio and new electric buses for the District. “We live in a beautiful community. Part of our sustainability program with going solar is to maintain the beautiful environment that we live in.” said VCPUSD Superintendent Ron McCowen. “These brand new solar canopies provide valuable shade for students, parents, faculty, staff, and other visitors to campus, and they also serve as a visual reminder of our District’s commitment to a cleaner and brighter energy future for our community.”

CustomerValley Center - Pauma Unified School DistrictSegmentPublic SectorTypeCanopyCapacity1 MWYear2023LocationValley Center, Calif.

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