The Chico Unified School District wants to soak up the sun and the savings. During Wednesday night's meeting, board members approved an agreement to allow 'Solar City' to develop a solar system on district property. Then the district will purchase the power from them. The vote to approve the contract was unanimous.
CUSD Facilities Planner, Mike Weissenborn says, "The main benefit to the district is it ends up generating a substantial amount of utility savings." $3.8 million over the next 20 years to be exact. 'Solar City' will pay for the installation and maintenance of the solar arrays. In return the district will use 100 percent of the power at each site, which will show immediate savings on PG&E bills. But there are other benefits to the project as well. Mike says, "We're going to have shaded parking lots at Chico High and PV. We've got the whole thing tied into the web so there will be educational opportunities, and it is good for the planet."
You'll also see the solar arrays at Marsh Junior High, Chapman School and the CUSD Corporation Yard. Although this project only involves five sites now, this may be the beginning of a bright and sustainable future for the district. Mike says, "We got the best projects that we could find right now. As technology advances we may be able to take another pass through this and find other campuses that also work."