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Energy Conservation

Aerial view of solar parking

The Marana Unified School District embraces energy conservation and believes it is their responsibility to ensure that every reasonable effort is made to conserve energy and natural resources while exercising sound financial management.  Together, District employees have saved over $7 million in taxpayer dollars!

With the cost of utilities being the second-largest budget line-item for the District, and the prices for electricity, natural gas, and water steadily increasing, District Administration and Governing Board members took a proactive step in good stewardship of budgeted funds and energy by embarking on a comprehensive behavior-based energy conservation and management program in fall 2013. This is not a short-term “green project.” It’s a comprehensive, rigorous and sustainable energy program to help the District save money for years to come.  

Since beginning this serious energy conservation program, the Districts' savings of over $7,000,000 from expected energy costs, equates to an environmental impact of taking 4,162 cars off the street or planting 512,295 trees in our community! Through this program, the District is creating a culture of energy conservation that is saving teaching positions, student programs, and the environment.   

Solar In MUSD

The District’s energy conservation slogan “every dollar saved on energy is a dollar saved for education” symbolizes the District's commitment to energy efficiency and a healthy planet. With the start of the 2015-2016 school year, the Marana district again increased efforts to reduce energy costs through the addition of solar panels on all school campuses. 

Solar panels harness clean renewable energy from the sun and offer an easy and affordable way to meet electrical needs. It is projected the solar producing structures will generate approximately 85% of the school's electrical needs. Reducing operating costs allows for more money to go in the classrooms towards learning. 

In addition to reducing electric energy costs, students and teachers have access to a web-based monitoring station providing a real-time look at the solar production. Students will benefit from learning how solar energy is helping to power their schools.

Placement of panels on each campus was determined based on proximity of power meters, building codes, and the orientation of the arrays. 

History of Solar Installation
Phase I

In 2013, the District entered into a Solar Services Agreement with Kennedy Partners, Core Construction and Constellation to install solar energy systems at eight district sites: Estes, Ironwood, Quail Run, Coyote Trail, Twin Peaks, and Butterfield Elementary Schools; Marana Middle School; and MCAT High School.

This project was made possible through Renewable Energy Credits (REC) from Tucson Electric Power. One hundred percent of costs including, but not limited to, design, engineering, permitting, construction, installation, and maintenance were at no cost to the District. Financed and owned by Constellation, the school district purchases the electricity generated by the systems at a discounted rate per kilowatt, saving nearly $4 million over 20 years.

The District had anticipated reapplying for more credits for remaining schools, but the number of credits required was no longer available.

Final Phase:

In fall 2015, the District began construction of solar panels on all remaining school campuses as a result of a federal program called Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS) and Renewable Energy Credits (REC) from Tucson Electric Power. Construction completed early 2016. This final phase of solar panel installation is expected to save the District an additional $175,000 annually for the next 20 years. 

The Marana Unified School District remains committed to their students and community. The incorporation of solar energy is another way to conserve energy and natural resources while providing a better environment and lowering operating costs.

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