The Oak Grove School District (Calif.) and Chevron Energy Solutions today celebrates the completion of a state-of-the art solar PV system to save the district more than $13 million in energy costs over the life of the project.
Installed at four schools and the district office, the 1.8-MW solar PV system created more than 25 local union construction jobs and will generate up to 90 percent of the electricity demand at the five sites, enough energy to power more than 160 homes. By greatly reducing its utility costs, the district is able to invest the savings back into the classroom, improving student learning and augmenting critical education initiatives.
“This is a thrilling project for both our district and the community,” said Chris Jew, Acting Superintendent for Oak Grove School District. “At a time when school districts across the country are struggling under the weight of crippling budget deficits, Oak Grove has looked towards innovation as a way to maximize every taxpayer dollar. The savings being generated can now be reinvested into our classrooms where it belongs.”
In addition to saving millions of taxpayers’ dollars for the district, the solar photovoltaic system, comprised of parking canopies and shade structures, will offset the annual production of 1,377 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the environmental equivalent of planting more than 220 football fields of pine forests.
In its effort to reduce energy usage and costs, the Oak Grove School District partnered with Chevron Energy Solutions, an industry leader in providing renewable power for education, government and business facilities. In addition to designing, developing and constructing the district’s solar photovoltaic system, Chevron Energy Solutions is helping the District identify and secure millions of dollars in utility incentives and rebates, providing an additional fiscal benefit to the district and local taxpayers.
“We are pleased to work together with Oak Grove School District to enhance the learning environment,” said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. “The forward-thinking district is creating critical budget relief in a challenging economic environment, which demands responsible and innovative strategies.”
Through its collaboration with school districts across the country, Chevron Energy Solutions designs and implements science curriculum integrated with renewable and energy efficiency systems, exposing students to future career opportunities in the booming clean energy technology sector. Oak Grove School District enthusiastically embraced the curriculum program as an innovative way to provide students with a hands-on learning experience while teaching the value of environmental stewardship.
“This project creates a real life, living laboratory for our students who already value and understand the importance of environmental sustainability,” said Maria Wetzel, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, Oak Grove School District. “This will be a uniquely enriching experience for our students.”