Installation of at the four high schools and a middle school in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District began this month.
, ,, and high schools will have solar panels installed over their parking lots.
The panels will provide shade for parked cars and will move with the sun to maximize the solar power collected.
The solar panels cost $25 million, which the district funded with federal stimulus money that provided low- to no-interest rate bonds, district spokesman Terry Koehne said.
“It would have paid for itself within the first 17 years,” Koehne said. “Following that, we think it will be a savings of at least $2 million a year.”
The solar panels will not completely power the schools, but will provide about two-thirds of needed energy.
The goal is to have the panels installed by the time school starts Aug. 24. Koehne said he does not know how the schools will handle parking if construction is not completed by the time school begins.
Much of the electrical wiring for the solar panels has been done; the bulk of the construction is to install the carport solar panels, Koehne said.
Diablo Vista Middle School was the only middle school selected to have the solar panels installed because its location works best for the photovoltaic panels.
“Basically, the school district is doing its part to reduce energy consumption,” Koehne said. “It seems not to just be the wave of the future, but the wave of the present, and school bonds allowed us to take advantage of the technology.”