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LA Unified Close to Completing Solar Power Systems

Jessica P. Ogilvie | November 15, 2013

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Solar Panel Clip ArtOver the past few years, LA Unified has been implementing a plan to go green by installing solar power systems in 68 schools throughout the district.

The plan was well underway last year, and as of today the district is still on track, with 59 schools now equipped with solar power systems and nine left to go, said district spokeswoman Shannon Haber.

Each has solar panels installed on surfaces including roofs and parking structures – and the project is expected to be finished by fall of 2014.

The systems are being installed in part by SolarCity, a clean energy company that has installed similar systems in 200 schools and universities across the country.

The solar project springs from a 2007 resolution passed by the school board, which acknowledged that LAUSD is “one of the largest users of water and energy in the State of California” and resolved to “create a ‘Green’ accountability system that outlines measurable outcomes for Districtwide sustainability and specific goals for water and energy conservation.”

Kim Kennedy, Senior Facilities Project Manager for LA Unified, said last year, the district “strives to be the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly large urban school district in the country.”]

The solar power project serves as both a green initiative and an educational tool. In addition to the money and power it’s saving the district and the county, students will be able to learn about solar energy and the importance of conservation.

In its first year, the project is projected to save the district $776,000, enough money to buy more than 1,100 more iPads. Just think how many iPads the district could buy with projected savings of $117 million over 20 years . . . (Hint: 172,566)

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