Sahuarita Solar

Solar panel project will move forward in Arizona district

April 23, 2020
A $17 million installation in the Sahuarita district will add solar panels at 9 schools.

The Sahuarita (Ariz.) Unified School District is moving forward with plans to install solar panel structures at all its schools.

KOLD-TV reports that phase 1 of a $17 million energy efficiency project will break ground this summer.

That includes building solar panel shade structures at all nine schools in the district, as well as replacing light bulbs and upgrading plumbing.

Superintendent Manuel Valenzuela says the district's main goal for the project is to be good stewards of the environment.

By going solar, the school system estimates it will save $600,000 in utility bills the first year.

The project has been in the works for several years, but right now, its additional value-added benefit is its timing.

“I think this project is a hopeful sign and an encouraging sign that we’re moving forward with normal, exciting, and promising initiatives that are going to continue to move our community forward,”

It will take about a year to complete the nine structures. District leaders hope the panels to be fully operational and generating their own solar power by the 2021 school year.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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