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For Immediate Release: October 19, 2004
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

$4.5 Million in Rebates to Help 30 Schools
Build Their Own Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Sacramento - Thirty schools throughout California will get financial incentives from the state to produce their own electricity from the sun's free and plentiful radiance.

Under the Energy Commission's Solar School Program, the schools will share $4.5 million in incentives to install their own solar photovoltaic systems (PV) of up to 30 kilowatts.

PV technology converts sunlight directly to electricity to power lights, air conditioners, freezers and other equipment at almost no cost to the schools.

Program recipients are grade schools and high schools within the territory of California's three largest investor owned utility companies - Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric. The schools will harvest a total of 700 kilowatts from their systems and will help California inch closer to its goal of producing 20 percent of its electricity from the sun and other renewable sources by 2010.

The $4.5 million in incentives are shared equally by the Energy Commission's Emerging Renewables Program and the California Attorney General's AGAERA funds - short for Alternative Energy Retrofit Account. The account comes from settlements from the state's energy investigation into power companies for illegal electricity pricing practices during the energy crisis of 2001 to 2002.

Over 60 school districts applied for the one-time $6.40-a-watt special rebate incentive - twice the amount of the regular Emerging Renewbles Program rebate level for solar, wind, and other eligible systems at the time. Only half of the public and charter schools applying for the program met eligibility requirements and were awarded reservations before the limited funds were fully subscribed.

These requirements include a board resolution indicating the readiness to build including a signed contract with a retailer; that the applicant has previously installed energy efficient lighting, and will be ready for a curriculum tie-in to teach school children on the benefits of solar energy and conservation.

A typical PV system converts the sun's energy into direct current (DC), runs it through an inverter, and turns it into alternating current (AC), used by the majority of appliances and electrical systems. The AC power either flows into the school building or, if not needed, into the electric utility's transmission lines.

If the system produces an excess amount of power on sunny days, the electricity is fed into the utility grid under a ̉net metering' agreement with the utility, turning the customer's electric meter backwards. Electricity is drawn from the grid in the evening and often during days when the system does not produce as much electricity as the school needs.

(Editors: following is a list of schools and the approved reservation funds to build their systems.)

Approved Solar Schools Program Applications

Number School District/School Name Address Watts Utility Reserved Funding
1. Alpine Union School District (Joan MacQueen Middle School) 2001 Tavern Road, Alpine, CA 91901 29,180 watts SDG&E $186,752
2. Antelope Valley Union High School District (Henry Hearns Charter School K-8) 37721 100th Street East, Littlerock, CA 93543 29,934 watts SCE $191,578
3. Big Lagoon School District (Equinox Center for Education) 470 Union Street, Arcata, CA 95541 8,289 watts PG&E $53,050
4. Bridgeville School District (Bridgeville Elementary School) 38717 Kneeland Road, Bridgeville, CA 95526 7,368 watts PG&E $47,155
5. Buena Vista School District (Buena Vista Elementary School) 21660 Road 60, Tulare, CA 93274 27,300 watts SCE $174,420
6. Centinela Valley Union High School District (Leuzinger High School) 4118 W. Rosecrans Avenue, Lawndale, CA 90260 29,887 watts SCE $191,277
7. Green Point School District (Green Point Elementary School) 180 Valkensar Lane, Blue Lake, CA 95525 2,497 watts PG&E $14,337
8. Harmony Union School District (Salmon Creek Middle School) 1935 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, CA 95465 29,234 watts PG&E $187,098
9. John Swett School District (John Swett High School) 1098 Pomona Street, Crockett, CA 94525 27,266 watts PG&E $174,501
10. Laguna Beach Unified School District (Top of the World Elementary School) 21601 Tree Top Lane, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 29,000 watts SCE $185,600
11. Lakeside Joint School District (Lakeside Elementary School) 19621 Black Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033 19,214 watts PG&E $122,970
12. Larkspur School District (Hall Middle School) 200 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939 29,887 watts PG&E $191,276
13. Nevada County Superintendent Of Schools (Champion Mine School Grades 9-12) 700 Hoover Lane, Nevada City, CA 95959 14,426 watts PG&E $92,326
14. Nevada County Superintendent Of Schools (Special Ed Building at the Union Hill Elementary School) 11638 Colfax Highway, Grass Valley, CA 95945 14,426 watts PG&E $92,326
15. Northern Humboldt Union High School District (Arcata High School) 1720 M Street, Arcata, CA 95521 27,829 watts PG&E $178,106
16. Palo Alto Unified School District (Escondido Elementary School) 890 Escondido Road, Stanford, CA 94305 20,000 watts PG&E $128,000
17. Petaluma City Elementary School District (McDowell Elementary School) 421 South McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952 20,017 watts PG&E $128,109
18. Petaluma Joint Union High School District (Petaluma High School) 201 Fair Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 20,000 watts PG&E $128,000
19. Placerville Union School District (Edwin Markham Middle School) 2800 Moulton Drive, Placerville, CA 95667 29,887 watts PG&E $191,277
20. Pollock Pines Elementary School District (Sierra Ridge Middle School) 2700 Amber Trail, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 29,999 watts PG&E $191,994
21. Ramona Unified School District (Mt. Woodson Elementary School) 17427 Archie Moore Rd., Ramona, CA 92065 29,999 watts SDG&E $191,994
22. Red Bluff Joint Union High School District (Red Bluff High School) 1260 Union Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080 29,887 watts PG&E $191,277
23. Ripon Unified School District (Weston Elementary School) 1660 Stanley Drive, Ripon, CA 95366 20,000 watts PG&E $128,000
24. Ross Valley School District (White Hill Middle School) 101 Glen Drive, Fairfax, CA 94930 20,000 watts PG&E $128,000
25. Shoreline Unified School District (West Marin School Grades 2-8) P.O. BOX 300, Pt. Reyes, CA 94956 19,988 watts PG&E $127,923
26. Sonoma Valley Unified School District (Woodland Star Charter School Grades K-7) 17805 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476 29,982 watts PG&E $191,885
27. South Pasadena Unified School District (South Pasadena High School) 1401 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, CA 91030 20,000 watts SCE $128,000
28. Southern Kern Unified School District (Rare Earth High School) 3082 Glendower Street, Rosamond, CA 93560 29,934 watts SCE $191,578
29. West Sonoma County Union High School District (Analy High School) 6980 Analy Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472 28,000 watts PG&E $179,200
30. Willits Unified School District (Willits High School) 299 N. Main Street, Willits, CA 95490 29,999 watts PG&E $191,994
703,429 TOTAL Funding: $4,500,000

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