Crews are putting the finishing touches on a solar energy system at schools across the Redondo Beach Unified School District, which is expected to save up to $15 million in energy costs over the next 20 years, officials said today.
The $8 million project is also expected to reduce energy use by 70 percent at 12 of the district's 13 schools, according to the district. Only the South Bay Adult School is not included in the solar project.
"We were devastated by the state's financial crisis," said RBUSD Superintendent Steven Keller. "This was another way for Redondo Beach Unified School District to minimize the hit on the general fund annually and really put more dollars back in our schools and in front of our kids."
The funding for the panels was provided by Measure Q, a $63 million bond measure approved by voters in November 2012. Measure Q funds can be used for facility and technology upgrades.
The large panels have been installed next to athletic fields, playgrounds and in parking lots, according to the district. Most of them are constructed on the top of shade structures, according to Keller.
The RBUSD pays $725,000 a year in electricity bills. The solar panels are expected to result in savings of $500,000 every year, Keller said.
"When it comes to an environmental movement on our part, we think this is pretty profound," Keller said.
When schools are not in session, the panels will provide power to surrounding neighborhoods.
The panels were designed and installed by Huntington Beach-based PsomasFMG, LLC.
The Redondo Beach Unified School District is made up of eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, one continuation school and an adult school.
--City News Service