Posted by Kari Lemons, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 4:54 pm
My sons go to Landels and Graham. I would like to see the School trustee's prepare the schools for the future and save money by investing in solar that utilizes the vast roof space each school represents. If each school was self sufficient for its power generation the cost savings from the power bill would generate enough so that it could be less dependent on ever shifting state funds. There are several ways this could be accomplished. The district could issue a bond to own the system. Or they could lease the roof space to a third party who would have a lease to own and maintenance aggreement with the School district and the district would buy back power at a reduced cost for the term of the lease.
I was just looking at a new solar concentrator system that costs installed $10 per watt. 500KW sytem for $50,000 not including state and federal rebates. This system is 35% efficient which is double what passive solar panels generate and is designed for commercial buildings.
Our schools are also used as emergency shelters and having a solar system tied into a backup generation system is needed planning for our city's emergency needs. We know that a large Earthquake will hit the Hayward Fault between now and the next 30 years. Are our neighborhoods prepared? How many times do we have to go through a budget crisis with our schools on the chopping block before we figure out a way for them to be self sufficient?