News Release

  6500 East Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80301

For Immediate Release
Ghita L. Carroll, Ph.D., 720-561-5181
Sustainability Coordinator
Boulder Valley School District


Board Approves Power Purchase Agreement to Provide BVSD with Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy

SolarCity selected to install 1.4 Megawatts of solar capacity on 14 schools in BVSD - REVISED

Schools throughout Boulder Valley School District will be sporting shiny new solar panels on their rooftops by spring 2012, thanks to an agreement approved by the Boulder Valley Board of Education in last night’s meeting.

The 20-year contract is with SolarCity, a leading solar power and energy efficiency service provider with operations centers in Denver and Parker that will install the panels as part of this power purchase agreement (PPA) with BVSD. SolarCity will also be responsible for all maintenance and monitoring of the system for optimal performance.

In their proposal for the project, SolarCity said their approach is to maximize the potential savings to the district as well as the educational opportunities that solar energy installations present to the BVSD’s students. With SolarCity’s solar monitoring system, students will be able to track how much power their solar system is producing in addition to viewing how much energy they’re consuming.  SolarCity noted that by providing unused roof space for the SolarCity projects, BVSD will be able to set a positive example, create a stimulating educational tool, and reduce its carbon footprint.

With a power purchase agreement, BVSD is able to go solar for little to no capital investment and only pay for the clean power its PV arrays produce and the power its schools use.  Owners of solar system installations have traditionally had access to solar specific federal tax credits. As a non-taxpaying public entity, BVSD is not entitled to utilize these tax credits. However, an agreement where a third-party investor (who can qualify for a tax credit) owns the system and then sells power to the public entity, allows institutions like BVSD to leverage these tax incentives to place solar arrays on existing school rooftops with no upfront capital costs.

Public institutional power purchase agreements have increased along the Front Range in recent years with the University of Colorado and Denver Public Schools as notable examples.

“Our primary goal with this initiative is to increase the amount of solar-sourced energy which the district uses,” said BVSD Sustainability Coordinator Ghita Carroll, Ph.D. “Advantages of solar energy include its price stability and minimal impact on the environment.”

The final, negotiated agreement includes the installation of solar PV on 14 BVSD schools. Total PV from these installations will be approximately 1.4 MW, enough to offset close to 15 percent of the schools’ energy usage. Overall, this PPA will produce roughly 6 percent of the district’s electricity needs.

The schools on which the new rooftop PV arrays will be installed are:

Angevine Middle School (Lafayette)
Aspen Creek K-8 (Broomfield)
Boulder High School (Boulder)
Broomfield High School (Broomfield)
Centaurus High School (Lafayette)
Coal Creek Elementary School (Louisville)
Columbine Elementary School (Boulder)
Creekside Elementary School (Boulder)
Eldorado K-8 (Superior)
Foothill Elementary School (Boulder)
Heatherwood Elementary School (Boulder)
Manhattan Middle School (Boulder)
Monarch High School (Louisville)
Sanchez Elementary School (Lafayette)

“We are very excited about the opportunities for energy education that these projects will provide students in the schools,” said Carroll.

This project will bring the total number of BVSD schools which have solar arrays to 30, which is more than half of BVSD’s school buildings.

About GreenBVSD
In the past two years, BVSD developed a Sustainability Management System (SMS) and has launched several “greenBVSD” initiatives. The SMS defines a vision, goals and strategies for achieving district-wide environmental sustainability, and serves as a roadmap for integrating these concepts into the curriculum and operations. For information about BVSD’s green initiatives, please visit or contact

About SolarCity
SolarCity®—a national leader in solar power design, financing, installation, monitoring and energy efficiency services—was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt clean power, protect themselves from rising gas and electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company’s SolarLease® and Power Purchase Agreement (SolarPPA™) options can make it possible for homeowners and businesses to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity’s 23 operations centers serve Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at  

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