Soon, Half Moon Bay High and Cunha Intermediate schools will not only be producing bright minds, but also a total of 525 kilowatts of green energy.
More than 2,000 solar panels, fully funded and installed by SolarCity, a San Mateo company that went public in December, will provide electrical power for the schools. The Cabrillo Unified School District board will purchase it from SolarCity for rates that are set below market projections.
Solar panel arrays are being installed as canopies over both campuses’ parking lots. At the high school, they cover the upper student parking lot and the parking lot near the softball field. Cunha’s panels are being installed at the staff parking lot.
It’s the district’s first foray into using solar energy. Power produced by the panels is expected to reduce the district’s dependency on energy produced by PG&E, said Superintendent Tony Roehrick. The panels will provide energy to run anything that uses electricity, including lighting, computers and appliances.
When school’s not in session, the sun will continue to shine and produce energy. The schools will get credit against future bills for the energy produced during that time, said Jonathan Bass, a SolarCity spokesman.
Interested in pursuing renewable and sustainable energy, the board entered into the power purchase agreement with SolarCity in May.