Northern California School To Host 412 Kilowatt Solar Energy System


San Domenico School, a preK-12 Catholic school in Northern California, announced plans this week to install a 412 kilowatt solar energy system on its campus, a move that is expected to offset about 85 percent of the school's electricity costs an cut carbon emissions by about 860,000 pounds each year.

System development, construction, and installation are being handled by solar power developer Recurrent Energy, Solaris Solar, and GreenLight Solar. When finished, the installation will be owned and operated by Recurrent, which will sell all power back to San Domenico through a power purchase agreement. Through such a program, the school itself does not incur upfront capital costs.

The program involved "several years" of research and is part of a sustainability initiative the school launched back in the '90s.

"We established our Sustainability Program in 1995 with a curriculum that introduces students from pre-kindergarten through high school with the knowledge, values, and problem solving skills needed to build a livable and sustainable future," said Sister Gervaise Valpey, president emerita of San Domenico School, in a statement released this week. "After several years of research, San Domenico is excited to move ahead with the solar installation from Recurrent Energy, and we're already actively involving students in the process to effect similar changes at home and in the larger community."

Installation of the new system is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

San Domenico School serves about 500 students and is supported by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. The school sits on about 512 acres in California's Marin County.

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