Mater Dei High School goes solar

Mater Dei High School goes solar

Mater Dei is hosting a solar power system for Pacific Power Renewables

Santa Ana, CA, Sept. 30, 2013 Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, CA is excited for this opportunity to showcase their sustainable efforts by switching on their carport and rooftop PV solar energy systems.

Pacific Power Renewables and Microgrid Energy Corp have co-developed this project as part of a larger comprehensive energy and environmental sustainability savings program for Mater Dei.

The initial phase is now complete signified by this formal ribbon cutting whereby the team has successfully installed Solar PV shade parking canopies powered by 1,536  Solar Panels, the carports include 5 new electrical charging stations for both electric & plug in hybrid cars, carts, and electric bicycles.  The rooftops of the school’s Meruelo Athletic Center and Reed & Gail LeVecke Student Services Center have 792 PV Solar Panels installed. Mater Dei’s first phase total solar energy system of 535 kW is estimated to offset up to 25% of the schools reliance of Grid based (Carbon produced) electricity from the utilities. The school also gained energy efficiency with an added benefit of a “Cool” roof coating recommended by Microgrid Energy and installed by Tecta America that will reflect the heat of the roof thereby keeping the buildings cooler while extending the life of the roof. Less heat in the building means less A/C needs in the summer and keeping the PV solar Panels cool in the summer helps them perform their best at producing clean “green” energy.

Converting a large portion of the school’s energy use from grid power generated by gas, coal, or nuclear to renewable energy reduces the greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the school’s carbon footprint.

The 535 kW solar power plant generates over 825,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year providing approximately 35% of the high school’s total energy requirements. The power plant is comprised of a total of 2,328 solar panels and 22 inverters.  The system is monitored by SolarWatch™, PPR’s real time proprietary monitoring system. This project is designed to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is estimated to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint in an amount equivalent to 18,204,673 million pounds of CO2, produce enough energy to power 2,367 homes and equal to planting 300,377 trees over the lifetime of the system.

Combined with the reduction in greenhouse gases this Solar Energy system is expected to save the School nearly $2 Million in reduced energy costs over 20yrs, those savings are planned towards academic funding for the students.

Microgrid Energy and PPR are also committed to helping Mater Dei provide an educational component of the solar energy program to help students gain a higher energy awareness through sustainability measures as it relates to their solar system, thus preparing them for higher education and opportunities in renewable energy fields, energy conservation, and environment with real life experiences at their campus, and at home. PPR has installed an energy-monitoring kiosk in the La Vecke student center and students can log onto a live online web link via their ipads, laptop, PC, or smartphones to see the energy produced by the solar energy system and the positive effect on the environment.

The School’s future solar energy plans with Microgrid Energy and Pacific Power include PV solar for the rest of the rooftops after new roofs are installed, on top of a planned parking garage, and the new performing arts center. The goal would be to have a majority of the power providing the school to come from renewable solar energy.

“On behalf of Pacific Power Renewables, I want to commend Mater Dei High School for giving students the chance to observe solar power first hand,” said Sarah Modgling of Pacific Power Renewables.  “It’s good to learn about alternative energy sources so students can make informed decisions about them, perhaps making them better qualified for job opportunities down the road,” Modgling said. “Energy is such a hot topic right now, and I’m sure it still will be when these students are leading our communities and businesses.”


About Pacific Power Renewables

Pacific Power Renewables, INC (, of Auburn, CA  is a leading solar project developer and generating company providing clean electricity to utilities and large energy users. We develop, build, finance, and operate solar power systems. Since 2002, Pacific Power Renewables has installed over 70 plants that combine to produce more than 15 megawatts of clean, efficient solar power for California.


Media Contacts: 

Sarah Modgling, for Pacific Power Renewables: 530-887-1984 ext 118 or