An aerial photo show where solar panels will be installed at Piedmont Middle School Berryessa Union School District

An aerial photo show where solar panels will be installed at Piedmont Middle School.

California district begins solar panel installation

Berryessa Union district plans to have solar panels at its main office and 13 schools.

The Berryessa (Calif.) Union School District has begun a solar and sustainability program with a groundbreaking at Piedmont Middle School in San Jose for the district's first solar panel system.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports the district plans to spend $11 million to install solar panels at the district's main office and 13 school campuses as it aims to reduce its environmental footprint. The money comes from a $77 million bond proposal that voters approved in 2014.

OpTerra Energy Services, an engineering consultant and design firm, will install the solar panels.

Berryessa officials estimate that the solar program will save the district more than $22 million in energy savings over the next 20 years.

The solar panel systems are expected to provide a 15 percent reduction of electricity use, according to the district.

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