Solar Power | News

California District To Save $380,000 Annually with Solar Power

California's Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) will install solar power systems, projected to reduce energy costs by approximately $380,000 each year, at five schools.

Totaling 1.2 megawatts, the systems will be installed by SunPower as shade structures in the parking lots of the schools. Construction of two systems, including a 63-kilowatt installation at Hall District Elementary School, is "substantially complete," according to a news release, and construction on all five is scheduled for completion this summer.

"We expect that these SunPower systems will offset approximately 74 percent of the electricity usage across all five school sites, allowing Pajaro Valley Unified School District to use the savings to support our academic and enrichment programs," said Brett McFadden, chief business officer of PVUSD, in a prepared statement. "With proven, reliable SunPower technology, we are maximizing our savings while minimizing the district's carbon footprint. It is the right thing to do for our students and our community."

"According to estimates provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the solar power systems at PVUSD are expected to offset more than 921 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 3,480 cars from California's roads over the next 20 years," according to a news release.

PVUSD serves approximately 19,000 students at three high schools, six middle schools, 16 elementary schools, five charter schools, 17 children's centers, two alternative schools, a continuation high school and an adult education school. More information about the district is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].