As part of PG&E’s Solar Schools Program, Cesar Chavez Elementary got a 1-kilowatt solar panel at the beginning of last summer, according to a construction worker at the school. The move should save the school some $3,000 over the lifetime of the panel.
The panel produces enough energy to power 684 homes for one day and offsets almost 22,000 pounds of CO2, equal to the pollution of an average car for a two year period, according to PG&E.
The program is a partnership with the Foundation for Environmental Education and attempts to provide solar panels to schools across the country in an effort both to reduce energy costs and to educate students and teachers on the benefits of going solar. Schools often have real-time data on the energy production of the panels to educate students, and are also eligible to receive Bright Ideas grants. These give $1,000 to $10,000 in funding for classroom projects meant to teach students about “renewable energy, conservation and environmental stewardship.”
And with California facing what may be its worst drought in 500 years, it is welcome news that younger generations will be learning about renewable energy and the benefits solar could have in mitigating climate change.