Tuesday, June 21, 2011

$50 Million Savings Eyed as New Solar Energy Projects Begin Work

Let's Go Solar!San Diego Unified is on a pace to save as much as $50 million through expansion of its solar energy program. District leaders, local dignitaries and representatives of AMSolar Corporation broke ground on a solar carport system recently at Clairemont High School, as AMSolar begins its installation of 23,000 solar panels on rooftops and carports around the district.

When completed, approximately 30 percent of the district's total energy usage will be offset by solar. These combined projects have the potential to save as much as $50 million in avoided costs to the district over the 20-year life of the system.

The sites receiving new solar systems are: Baker, Benchley/Weinberger, Boone, Edison, Emerson, Encanto, Freese, Gage, Johnson, Sherman and Valencia Park elementary schools; Kearny, Lincoln, Madison, Mission Bay, Morse, Scripps Ranch and University City high schools, along with the Revere Center administrative site.

AMSolar is one of two companies that will be installing solar systems throughout the district. Last fall, the Board of Education approved two new solar programs that will create 9.4 megawatts (MW) of solar power at 49 additional schools and three administrative sites. As with the current system, the district will purchase the solar power generated from these sites directly from the service providers at a discounted rate compared to the SDG&E rate, with no taxpayer investment.

Since 2003, the district has utilized roof-top solar systems at 28 district schools and administrative sites to convert the sun's energy into electricity and reduce overall energy costs. The two new programs will more than triple the district's solar capacity from 4.17 MW on 28 sites to 13.5 MW on 80 sites.
For more information, visit the district website at www.sandi.net/energy or contact Janet Whited, recycling specialist, at (858) 637-6268 or jwhited@sandi.net.

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