Valley schools waking up to solar power


Pioneer Union Elementary School District in Hanford is the latest San Joaquin Valley school to dedicate a solar project. And this one was free.

The solar system was donated by Enfinity. The 10,898-panel, $4 million solar farm will supply 77% of the district's capacity, saving an estimated $30,000 per year in electricity bills, according to this story by The Fresno Bee's Lewis Griswold.

The district, which consists of two elementary schools and a middle school, will get credit for any excess production.

The Hanford district is the latests in a strong of project that include Buchanan High School in Clovis, which opens an Energy Center teaching lab in August,
and Riverdale High School and Fipps Primary School in Riverdale, which are benefiting from Honewell-installed arrays expected to generate about 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually - enough to cover more than 60 percent of the district’s total electricity load.

“The fact that going green also provided a financial advantage was very attractive to us,”
said Elaine Cash, superintendent of Riverdale Joint Unified School District in a press release. “This solar project with Honeywell will maximize our budget resources while maintaining clean, sustainable schools.”

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.