San Rafael City Schools Selects REC Solar for Major Solar Energy Initiative

By Editor


The San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) Board of Education has chosen REC Solar to design, build, own, operate, and maintain 2.3 MW of solar power installations across five schools in the district. This decision follows a competitive bidding process and aligns with SRCS’s strategic goals of energy savings and environmental stewardship.

The rooftop and canopy solar arrays are projected to generate $9.7 million in energy savings and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,931 tons annually. This reduction is equivalent to powering 525 homes or removing 633 gas-powered vehicles from the roads each year.

“San Rafael City Schools takes pride in being wise stewards of our environment. We feel that installing these solar arrays is not only the right fiscal choice for the District, it’s the right thing for the District to do,” stated Bob Marcucci, SRCS Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.

Building on the success of previous solar installations at Glenwood and San Pedro Elementary schools, SRCS, with clean energy consultants from NV5, developed a plan to expand energy savings and carbon offsets through seven new solar installations. These will be located at Davidson Middle, San Rafael High, Terra Linda High, Bahia Vista Elementary, and Venetia Valley schools.

David Williard, Principal in NV5’s Clean Energy Group, expressed enthusiasm for the project: “We’ve been working towards this milestone since 2017 and meticulously developed this project with input from the community and site stakeholders to ensure it will provide the greatest benefit to all.”

REC Solar was selected for the project due to its extensive experience with over 100 school districts nationwide.

The solar projects are financed through 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with REC Solar at no upfront cost to SRCS, allowing the district to reduce operating expenses without initial capital investment.

REC Solar will sell the generated power to the district at a fixed rate lower than current utility rates, offering protection against fluctuating energy costs for the next 25 years. Additionally, REC Solar will handle the operation and maintenance of the installations throughout the agreement period.

REC Solar will cover the design, permitting, financing, and installation of solar projects at each SRCS location. Solar carports at Davidson Middle, San Rafael High, and Bahia Vista Elementary will provide clean energy and vehicle protection.

Solar shade canopies at San Rafael High, Terra Linda High, and Venetia Valley schools will enhance clean energy production and offer shade for students. Additionally, a rooftop solar array at San Rafael High will utilize otherwise unused space for solar generation.

These installations will also serve as valuable STEM learning experiences, giving students unique opportunities to engage with renewable energy technologies.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025, with staggered activities across the five schools. All sites are expected to be completed by the first half of 2026.

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