Solar Panels Save Music

Twenty San Diego campuses to place combined 23,000 panels on rooftops, saving enough to support next year’s music programs

San Diego schools are getting more than just energy from the sun.

The schools’ music program has been salvaged by using $1.3 in cost-savings gained from solar panels installed on the rooftops of 20 local schools.

The new plan is part of the district’s latest budget proposal, which was presented at Tuesday’s meeting. The plan includes savings from eliminating two superintendent positions.

The panels are expected to provide 64 percent of the required electricity for each of the 20 schools with the panels, according to a press release from AMSOLAR Corporation.

AMSOLAR will own and operate the system, and SDUSD will pay for the electricity it generates.

The company broke ground for the solar panel installations at the beginning of June. They will install the parking lot panels this summer, and the rooftop panels in the fall. They expect all the construction to be complete by early 2012, said Jared Quient of AMSOLAR. 

The school district plans to integrate lessons on sustainable energy into its curriculum, but the plans have not yet been determined, said Cynthia Reed-Porter with the SDUSD. 

“The structure of this partnership ensures that the district has access to long-term energy stability with no taxpayer investment required, while at the same time bringing clean, renewable solar power for 20 of our campuses,” said Bill Kowba, superintendent of San Diego Unified School District in the release.

SDUSD began using solar energy in 2003 in 28 district schools and administrative sites. The district holds the record for the top solar powered school district in the country, Reed-Porter said.

The schools that will participate in the solar partnership include:

Baker Elementary Benchley
Weinberger Elementary
Boone Elementary
Clairemont High
Edison Elementary
Emerson Elementary
Encanto Elementary
Freese Elementary
Gage Elementary
Johnson Elementary
Kearny High
Lincoln High
Madison High
Mission Bay High
Morse High
Revere Center
Scripps Ranch High
Sherman Elementary
University City High
Valencia Elementary

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