California Schools to be Powered by Solar

07/26/2011 |


Schools around California will soon flip the switch to solar.

The California School Boards Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 1,000 school districts and county offices of education throughout California, has launched its newest district services program, Solar Schools, to support school districts in developing efficient solar projects at their schools.

Solar Schools helps schools save money on energy, avoid rising utility rates and effectively utilize federal and state incentives to acquire the greatest return on investment.

California's public sector, including schools, is forecasted to save $2.5 billion from solar installations over the thirty year life of the systems. Of the total savings for the public sector, K-12 schools and higher education institutions are expected to save approximately $1.5 billion.

"At a time when our school board members need to make every dollar count, we are pleased to partner with SunPower in offering school districts throughout the state solar power solutions that yield immediate and ongoing savings," says Martin Gonzalez, deputy executive director of CSBA. "Our decision to collaborate with SunPower is based on the company's extensive work with school districts throughout California.”

Within the next year, more than 90 K-12 schools and higher education facilities will have solar installed across California, including five schools in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. The solar power generated by the systems at San Ramon Valley School District is expected to offset an average of 80 percent of the electricity costs at each school, achieving an estimated savings of more than $2 million for the district in the first year.

"The district was motivated by the significant cost savings that [solar] offers," says San Ramon Valley Unified School District Superintendent Steven W. Enoch. "…Slated for completion by this fall, our solar installations will supply substantial savings to our district's general fund, while preserving precious financial resources."

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