The Santa Clarita Valley Signal – How Solar Power is Saving Schools

In one year, the electricity bill for Canyon High School was about $257,000.



The bills were no different at the other junior high and high schools that make up the William S. Hart Union High School District.



So what are they doing about it?



They’re looking to the sun.



With an agreement in place with PsomasFMG, the Hart district is spending the next three months hammering out a plan to install solar panels at nine of its junior high and high school campuses.



If all goes according to plan, the first solar panels over student parking lots and on vacant school land could go up as early as this summer.



That would mean Canyon’s electricity bill for next year would be about $102,800, or about 40 percent less.



Until then, the Hart district plans to schedule meetings in the neighborhoods where solar panels would be seen from homes.



“We want to make sure we have buy-in from everybody,” Hart district director of modernization Paul Rivas said.



Along with being “green,” the solar panels will mean serious savings for the Hart district.



In the first year, the 23,000-student district is projected to save up to $400,000. Over the 20-year agreement with PsomasFMG, district officials estimate they will save $25 million.



And the district doesn’t have to pay for the installation of the solar panels.



“It’s at zero cost to us,” Rivas said.



PsomasFMG is already working with Antelope Valley Union High School District’s 10 schools to install solar panels, according to Paul Mikos, PsomasFMG executive vice president. Five of the high schools are up and running with solar

energy, he said.



The solar shade structures are easy to install and designed to fit in with the school and general community, he said.



Next on the list are other Antelope Valley elementary and junior high school districts and the Hart district, he said.



“Out in the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley, you have some of the greatest sun for solar,” Mikos said. “It allows us to get the most productivity out of the system.”



Also, going solar is often an easy way for a cash-strapped school district to save money, Mikos said.



“It’s one of the places you can look at in the budget and not cut essential services,” Mikos said.



Rancho Pico Junior High School Principal Michele Krantz also sees the financial and environmental benefits. Rancho Pico is one of the nine Hart district schools slated to go solar.



“I just think that education is in such a financial state that any little bit that we can do, I support,” she said.



Along with saving money, the panels can also be a lesson for students.



“Our students are probably more aware about green behavior than we are,” she said. “That is going to be their norm.”


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PFMG Solar develops highly productive, extremely cost effective solar power systems that are good for the environment. We are part of the community, involved and concerned, especially for the young students, who are learning and desire hope for their future and many generations to follow. We have evolved from merely a firm who delivers an excellent service, to a Partner who wants to contribute to the greater good For Many Generations.

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