SRP Solar for Nonprofits Program Installs New Solar System at AZ Agribusiness & Equine Center High School in Mesa
“Not only are we thrilled to have shade over our parking lot, the faculty at our Mesa campus now has an exciting ongoing opportunity to educate students about renewable energy by pointing to the brand-new solar system right outside our front office,” said Christi Cravens, Principal at Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center High School (AAEC) in Mesa.
Operational this month, the AAEC High School in Mesa received a free solar system from the SRP Solar for Nonprofits program. The solar system was awarded to AAEC as part of SRP’s previous call for applications for its Solar for Nonprofits program in which three nonprofits were awarded systems by SRP that were recently installed or are soon to be installed.
“We have many students at AAEC interested in pursuing sustainability-related college degrees and career paths, which is a big reason why we submitted for the solar system through the Solar for Nonprofits program,” said Eric Stevens, Principal of AAEC Online.
The installed solar system is on top of a newly constructed parking structure which was also provided by the SRP Solar for Nonprofit program. The system provides 31.2 kilowatts (kW) of solar power to the school, producing approximately 51,090 kWh annually to help offset the school’s energy costs and cut down the organization’s carbon emissions.
“Having this solar structure onsite at our Mesa school powering a portion of this facility’s operations demonstrates to students firsthand how solar energy can offset carbon emissions and energy costs,” said Suzanne Drakes, Assistant Superintendent at AAEC. “We are excited to see what cost savings AAEC will experience in our first energy bill after the first month of having the system live.”
The Solar for Nonprofits program is funded by SRP and customers who contribute as little as $3 a month to the SRP Solar for Nonprofits program. Since 2007, the program has awarded 52 solar systems to deserving Valley-based nonprofit organizations which SRP works to install. Collectively, the program has helped nonprofits save nearly $1 million while providing renewable, emission-free energy for their buildings.
“Facilitating this program gives SRP great pride and especially when we know recipient organizations show these solar systems to their communities,” said Kathleen Munroe, SRP Manager of Distributed Energy Programs. “The systems allow nonprofits to direct more resources to those they serve, and they also create more awareness around renewable energy and carbon reduction, which helps us reach objectives to build a more sustainable future.”
SRP is currently accepting applications from local nonprofits interested in receiving a free solar system, now through July 18, 2021. To qualify, nonprofit applicants must be designated 501(c)(3) organizations, have their headquarters based within SRP’s electric service territory and have a parking structure or a parking lot to which SRP can add a donated structure. Additional eligibility requirements, the application form and more information on the SRP Solar for Nonprofits program can be found on the SRP website here: srpnet.com/solarnonprofit-application. For customers interested in donating to this program to help additional nonprofits receive solar installations, they can learn more on the SRP website here: srpnet.com/solar-for-nonprofits.
Adding more renewable resources to the community and the state of Arizona is a major objective for SRP, having recently announced it will expand utility-scale solar resources to 2,025 megawatts (MW) by the year 2025, more than double SRP’s original solar commitment made at the end of 2018.
About Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center
Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center (AAEC, the school), is a top high school in the state of Arizona for academics and promoting higher education. AAEC high schools have consistently scored above the national average.
AAEC opened its doors in June 20, 1997. The mission of AAEC is to prepare young adults for excellence in academics, social responsibility and lifelong learning. AAEC provides high school curriculum and educational programs for high school students in grades 9 through 12, as well as concurrent transferable college courses, at locations on or adjacent to campuses of the local County Community College District. Subject to capacity limits, the schools are open to all students within the state.
Thirty percent of the students attending AAEC schools graduate from high school with both a diploma and an Associate’s degree, thereby acquiring two years of college credit at many four-year colleges. To learn more www.aaechs.com.
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.