The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) main campus is largely being powered by the sun now thanks to the recent addition of a large solar power system in its parking areas.
The new system, coupled with behavioral changes and other planned energy efficiency measures, is expected to transform the Linda Vista campus into a zero-net energy site – meaning that it generates as much as it utilizes. That will save money and natural resources for future generations of students.
The system will:
- Cost SDCOE $3.7 million
- Save SDCOE at least $282,000 a year
- Produce enough electricity to cover about 60 percent of the current demand
- Produce 1,864,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to power 172 average homes
- Will offset about 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the same amount as removing nearly 280 cars from the road.
Separate and smaller solar projects are being planned for the South County Regional Education Center in National City and Cuyamaca Outdoor School in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
The projects are part of a larger sustainability push led by SDCOE's Green Team. Other projects expected over the next several months include energy-efficient lighting and air conditioning at some sites.
"Two years ago, SDCOE completed a plan to document and guide future sustainability actions," said Bill Dos Santos, who leads the SDCOE facilities and energy group. "The new solar power system not only exemplifies our commitment, but it does so in a very visible way. Visitors and neighbors can readily see our commitment to environmental stewardship. What's more, the system will significantly reduce our utility costs, thereby showcasing our financial stewardship well into the future."