December 14, 2018 - Livermore, CA - As the sun began to set to the west of the Livermore High School (LHS) parking lot, a celebration took place under the shade of the solar panels that were taking in the remaining rays of the day to generate clean energy for the school. The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) “Solarbration” was held on December 12 to commemorate the completion of the solar panel installations at fifteen of its schools, and to thank the supporters and partners of the project.
During the event, several members of the District and a representative of SunPower had the opportunity to say a few words. LVJUSD Board President Craig Bueno spoke to the project’s benefit for students. “This is a great statement from our district and an accomplishment for our community,” he said. “Showing our commitment to clean energy with these solar panels, along with our various other green initiatives, sets a great example for our students now and in the future.”
After comments from the District leaders and partners, it was time to flip the ceremonial switch, signifying the switch to cleaner energy and the beginning of a new era in sustainability for LVJUSD. Surrounded by stakeholders of the project - LVJUSD Board members, community leaders and partners, principals, and District staff - one of the youngest members in the audience, with the most to gain from a future propelled by clean energy, flipped the switch.
The event comes after the successful installation of the panels at each site, which have already begun to generate clean energy for their campuses. The new panels also light the school parking lots at night and provide shade during the day, for safer and more comfortable environments. Each site has also been equipped with smart monitors, displayed in front offices, to show data gathered by the solar array panels.
The project was made possible through partnerships with SunPower, Sage Renewable Energy, and LVJUSD. LVJUSD Maintenance, Operations and Facilities department, led by Director Bruce Wilke, coordinated and implemented the project at each site, with Jan Shipley as project manager. The solar project is funded by a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SunPower - which designed, built, owns and operates the solar array equipment at each site, selling the energy produced by the systems to the District at a fixed price for the 20-year term of the contract. Over the next 20 years, across the fifteen sites, LVJUSD expects to save $16 million in costs.