Scottsdale Schools Create Power and Shade to go Greener reports TarpaFlex.com
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/16/2012 -- Even parking lots are going green in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Unified School District is installing a dozen shade-structures in their school parking lots. The structures are complete with photovoltaic solar panelling that will convert the hot Arizona sun into solar power.
According to the Scottsdale School District, the new structures will bolster the district’s existing solar power program, growing energy production to roughly 23% of current power usage. Savings from the solar program are projected to be $30,000 per year.
Rick Freeman, the Scottsdale executive director of operations, says that investing in solar power will ultimately put money back into the classroom through long-term savings, adding, “We've been very aggressive about putting these photovoltaic cells on our schools.”
Though the district’s solar program is one of the largest in the city, it is not alone. The Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, as well as the Optima Sonoran Village and Brown’s Ranch facilities at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve are currently installing solar power projects of their own.
Green Choice Solar, a local photovoltaic installer, installed a 1.3-megawatt solar installation at the Jewish Campus. The installed piece includes rooftop paneling and a solar-shade network that covers nearly all of the 400 spaces in the center’s parking lot. The project is expected to save the Campus over $15 million over its useful lifetime and provide roughly 90% power needed to run the school in the coming years.
Herb Abel of Green Choice explains that the Campus’ system generates over 2 million kilowatt-hours each year, which is roughly the amount 200 residential homes use. Abel said that investing in green energy is “a great way to become energy-independent and save money” in the long run, citing the rising prices of traditional power generation.
The city issued over 300 solar-electricity permits in 2011, a 600% increase from 2008. Statistics from the Scottsdale Green Building Program show a 400% increase in solar hot-water installations during the same time-frame.
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