California District to Save $4 Million with Solar

The Soledad Unified School District will install a new solar photovoltaic system projected to save $45,000 in annual energy costs.

Funded through an interest-free $2 million loan from the California Energy Commission and slated for completion in February, the new system will generate more than 745,000 kilowatt hours of energy while saving an estimated $4 million over the course of its life.

The project is the first in an energy program that aims to leverage the state's Proposition 39 funding to improve energy efficiency throughout the district. Other potential steps include solar generation at all district sites and LED interior and exterior lighting.

"Aside from the financial savings, the installation of solar panels at our high school to produce clean electricity represents a tremendous opportunity for the District to help preserve and protect the environment for future generations," said Cesar Vega, chief business official for the district, in a prepared statement. "It also impacts our local economy as it creates employment opportunities in the green job sector, and supports a homegrown energy source."

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