The Chula Vista (Calif.) Elementary School District has completed a $32 million project that installed more than 18,000 solar panels at 46 schools.
The district says the photovoltaic panels are projected to save the district $70 million in energy costs over the next 25 years.
“By the end of this project, we think we will be able to generate about 90% of the district’s overall energy demands,” says Deputy Superintendent Oscar Esquivel. “That is a tremendous amount of energy—and savings for our district.”
Chula Vista schools now have 8.1 megawatts of solar installed across 48 sites—46 schools, the Transportation Yard, and the Education Service and Support Center.
The district also is finalizing the installation of a microgrid system to provide backup emergency power to the District’s IT department, additional servers, and the Child Nutrition freezer. The microgrid’s battery storage system also will provide electricity during the peak time period of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. when electric rates are highest.
The district partnered with ENGIE North America to install the solar panels.
Funding for the project came from a bond issue approved by voters in 2020.