Merced City School District issued a competitive RFP in 2017 for ten onsite solar projects funded by a grant under the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39). The district sought to achieve energy cost savings, commit to sustainability, and provide shade for playgrounds and other locations. Aside from the challenges of ongoing school and community activities during construction, the project faced a tight construction schedule, state regulations, and broad community collaboration.
With extensive experience in California, HOLT Renewables installed 1.5 MW DC in 17 shade structures ranging from 78 kW to 272 kW at 10 sites featuring Hanwha Q Cell 340 watt photovoltaic modules and Sungrow string inverters. These provide shade and increased lighting and safety around parking areas. During 2018, Merced's solar portfolio produced 2,196 megawatt hours of energy. Merced spent no capital funds, paying for the power produced at a fixed rate below their utility energy costs.