FRIDAY 29 JULY, 2011 |
California Solar Schools To Save $1.5 Billion In Electricity
California's massive push
and related support will see many of the state's K-12 schools and higher education institutions
installing solar panels - and saving approximately $1.5 billion in electricity
costs over 30 years.
panel maker SunPower
has partnered with the California School Boards
Association to establish a Solar Schools initiative, to help schools in the
state take advantage of generous government incentives to go solar.
Over the next 12 months, SunPower aims to install solar power systems at over 90 K-12 schools and higher education facilities across California, including five
systems in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. The San Ramon Valley
projects are expected to offset an average of 80 percent of the electricity costs at each school,
representing estimated savings of more than USD$2 million for the district in the first year.
SunPower is also working with the district's engineering academy to cultivate
interest in solar power careers and prepare students for job opportunities in
the clean technology sector.
Still on the topic of solar schools and closer to home, the 2011/12 round of the
Solar Schools Program
(NSSP) is still open to applications. Under the NSSP,
the Australian Government is providing generous grants of up to $50,000 for
schools to install grid connected solar power systems.
Originally envisioned to run until 2015, the Australian program has been so
popular, only $50 million in funding remains and this will be the second last
year the program will be available. This year's application round may close as early as 30 September
National solar solutions provider Energy
is offering schools receiving NSSP funding a fully installed
commercial solar power system up to 10kW in size, plus additional bonuses.
Energy Matters says based on sun hours in Sydney, a 10kW systems will generate
approximately 15,478 kilowatt hours of clean electricity each year and avoid up
to 14 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Even at a current electricity rate of
25c per kilowatt hour, such a system could realise savings in the vicinity of
$4,000 a year.
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