Tucson Unified School District announced the completion of a 23.8-megawatt solar generation project Wednesday.
Constellation, a leading competitive energy supplier, helped TUSD become the K-12 school district with the largest solar portfolio in the state.
The project is expected to account for 47 percent of TUSD's annual electricity use.
Located on shade canopies across 82 school campuses and support facilities, the solar panels are expected to produce 41.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year.
The panels also prevent the release of 31,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the avoided emissions have the same benefit to the environment as taking 6,600 cars off the road.
“I am very proud of the District’s commitment over the last five years to install the solar arrays at our schools and facilities," said Dr. Gabriel Trujilo, TUSD Superintendent. "They not only produce energy to run our schools while reducing our carbon footprint, they also provide wonderful shaded areas for our playgrounds and parking areas."
The project was done in three phases over five years. The project did not require upfront capital from TUSD, which will purchase the electricity generated by the panels through agreements with Constellation.
“Constellation is committed to increasing access to clean energy solutions,” said Brendon Quinlivan, executive director, Distributed Energy Origination for Constellation. “We congratulate TUSD on leading a growing list of K-12 school customers who are choosing to support renewable solar generation projects while managing energy costs.”
A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday where students were able to see how solar generation works through demonstrations.