In 2009, the Orchard School District in San Jose, California wanted to decrease its energy costs, increase the amount of money it dedicated to fund education, and reduce its carbon footprint. General Contractor Blach Construction Company, working with Cupertino Electric's Energy Alternatives Division made the district’s vision a reality.
Orchard School District took advantage of government incentives aimed at promoting sustainable technologies to help finance the 279 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic system installed by Cupertino Electric. The “grid-tied” system allows the district to sell any excess power generated by the system back to utility company PG&E.
In its first year of operation, the solar system is expected to reduce the district’s annual electrical costs by an estimated 40 percent, allowing money previously allocated for overhead costs to be re-allocated to fund education-related expenses.