The California School Boards Association (CSBA) recently partnered with SunPower to launch the Solar Schools program, which will help school districts develop and install solar projects at schools. Within the coming year, more than 90 schools across the state – at the elementary, secondary and higher-education level – are scheduled to be fitted with solar installations.
The Solar Schools program is designed to help schools save on energy, a savvy move in the face of shrinking budgets and rising utility rates, and make the best investments possible. The schools can also take advantage of the California Solar Initiative, a program that offers financial incentives to public facilities to use solar power. The states says the school could save as much as $1.5 billion over 30 years with the installation of solar power systems.
The San Ramon Unified School District, which is getting five installations, is expected to save $2 million in electricity costs during its first year of solar use, the CSBA said. The district has also implemented renewable energy education in its classrooms, with help from SunPower: The company is working with San Ramon’s engineering academy to prepare students for future careers in the clean technology field. Other schools participating in the Solar Schools program are planning similar curricula.
San Ramon Superintendent Steven W. Enoch called the solar initiative “extremely innovative in helping us to maximize our immediate cost savings. Slated for completion by this fall, our solar installations will supply substantial savings to our district’s general fund, while preserving precious financial resources.”