FEBRUARY 6, 2017 -- Petaluma, CA
Petaluma City Schools celebrated the completion of solar energy projects on nine campuses across the district with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, February 3 at Valley Vista Elementary School. Solar panels were installed on shade structures that stand in the parking lots and/or playgrounds of the following schools: Grant, Mary Collins at Cherry Valley, McDowell, McKinley, McNear, Penngrove, Petaluma Junior High, San Antonio, and Valley Vista. These solar shade structures will not only reduce the district’s carbon footprint, but will also provide protection from the elements in parking lots and playgrounds.
At the celebration presentations were given by Petaluma City Schools Superintendent, Gary Callahan; Rick Brown, the President of TerraVerde Renewable Partners; PCS Board of Education President Sheri Chlebowski; Steve Herrington, the Superintendent of Sonoma County Schools; and Melissa Apuya, a representative from Assembly member Marc Levine's office. After a ceremonial ribbon cutting, 6th grade students participated in a hands-on science activity, exploring the concepts of solar energy, led by TerraVerde President Rick Brown.
TerraVerde Renewable Partners, an independent energy advisor that helps schools, public agencies and private companies reduce energy costs, planned, designed and ran a competitive procurement process resulting in the school district’s selection of PCI to build the solar facilities. The project began in the 2015-16 school year and was completed by December 2016, with some delay due to an unanticipated change in the project’s Division of State Architect inspector.
District-wide these solar structures will reduce the district’s annual energy consumption by over 1,250,000 kilowatt hours. The long-term anticipated savings of at least $230,000 annually will go towards continued support of Petaluma City Schools initiatives. The district is proud to participate in this project mainly funded by Clean Energy Act (Proposition 39), with some additional funding from school bond and modernization funds.