Solar Energy and California Schools

Have you heard about solar energy and California schools?

As recently published on Business Wire, a 125-building solar project was completed in California, spreading across 29 schools and two facilities buildings throughout the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). The project was developed by Main Street Power Company, Inc. using Enphase® Microinverters, a flexible technology that made it possible to include buildings of different sizes, orientations, angles and shapes. Due to the challenging rooftop conditions of the unique buildings, using traditional inverters would have been virtually impossible, as the sizing of the arrays would have needed to be customized for each individual case. Instead, a single type of inverter technology was used to develop a flexible design that supports 3.1MW of arrays –both small and megawatt-scale systems- spread across the 125 buildings. Enphase technology offers an adaptive solution, ideal for diverse designs such as the one exemplified here.

Teaching about alternative energy

The project has a strong educational impact on children and teachers alike. A K-12 solar education program was developed by Main Street Power and will be included into the 29 schools’ science curriculum. The “Train the Trainers” program is dedicated to the science teachers of the schools where solar technology was installed, who will learn how to integrate the new focus on alternative technology and renewables into their curriculum. Having the solar technology installed on the rooftop of the buildings where they study is a wonderful opportunity for the students to have direct contact with the alternative energy notions they are taught about. It is an essential part of educating the next generation of environmentally-responsible citizens.

A win-win for the community

Bill Rossi, CMO of Enphase Energy said that “Enphase is proud to have our trusted technology associated with a project dedicated to educating children about alternative energy. Not only will the students learn about their school’s rooftop solar in the classroom, but the school district will benefit from reduced energy costs over the long term.” The project is also beneficial to the community. By leveraging New Market Tax Credits, Main Street Power encouraged solar development in low-income areas, illustrating the benefits of solar technology to the parents and students of 25 schools. “Also, San Diego Unified School District turned to solar for its environmental impact, but the money saved by the solar arrays will provide more resources for teachers and students – a win-win for the community.”, said Eric Hinckley, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Main Street Power.

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