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Back to School with Solar Panels!

Photo by Attribution Some rights reserved by Alaskan DudeRedding, CA is the second sunniest city in the US.

Redding, CA is the second sunniest city in the US.

There is no better way to teach our children than leading by example. That’s why I get so excited every time I hear about schools going solar!  Of course, during this recessive economy, cash strapped schools can hardly afford textbooks, let alone expensive photovoltaic panels.  Thankfully, the solar industry has come to the rescue.

Many people are surprised to learn that Redding, California is actually the second sunniest city in the United States.  Redding ranks above sunny spots such as Las Vegas and Phoenix with an annual 88% average possible sunshine.  Local schools are taking advantage of this solar potential.  Redding.com reports:

In what appears to be the latest education trend, Grant Elementary School is the latest school in Shasta County to harness the energy of the sun.

The school recently installed 750 solar panels on the campus on Swasey Drive west of Redding. The solar panels will produce nearly 300,000 kilowatts of power per hour, enough to fulfill 95 percent of the school’s electricity needs, district Superintendent John Krinkel said Friday.

The solar field was designed and built by an Elk Grove firm and financed by Solar Power Partners of Mill Valley.

“We did not pay a dime for this solar field,” Krinkel said.

The school is estimated to save $600,000 in energy costs over 20 years.

Grant Elementary School is not the first school to benefit from Solar Power Partners:  “Solar Power Partners, Inc. (SPP) develops, owns, and operates distributed solar energy facilities and sells solar-generated electricity through solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).”  From Connecticut to California, SPP has been bringing clean energy to schools across the country.

Grant’s PPA works by allowing the school to pay “only for the power produced by the system at a pre-determined rate over the life of the contract” without having to put up any upfront costs for the equipment.

I’d really like to explore similar options for my children’s school.


  1. I agree that children learn best by example. I’d like to see all the schools go solar. I work with Sharp and have been doing some research on solar panels. The sun will always be here as a clean and renewable energy source. Solar electricity is not only better for the environment, in the long run, it is cost effective. In doing research, don’t forget to check out the federal and state incentives to going solar. Sharp offers free solar consultations. You can get your questions answered and get an estimate on your cost savings. solar Panels

  2. I agree that we need to set the example for our children. I have a 12 and 14 year old and we have been learning about solar for the last few years. I find it interesting that a lot of people are still ignorant about solar or they think they know all about it. I offer a different twist for homeowners in Redding and in most of California. We are installing solar power lease systems which save the homeowner around 20% 1st year and more as the utility rates increase. You can lock in your kw rate now (Redding 9.3 cents for 10 years) before the rates increase. Just go to http://www.gotsolarpwr.info and reserve your system. Our installs in Redding generally take about one month start to finish. We also guarantee performance and maintane the system.

  3. Yeah!!! We’re actually doing somthing right for our kids and their kids futures!

    I have a 15 and 20 year old son, and have recently installed solar on my home. They are getting to see not only the financial savings but learning how it will affect so much into their environment in years to come. By the way, my electric cost went from $98. down to $24.00 within 1 month of having the panels installed. Now that makes me smile even more! Lisa – 1shinysolar

  4. Anthony,

    I do believe that solar leasing is the future and in these economic times people are looking to save money. PPA’s for business or homeowners is the way to go . The electric rates in California are going through the roof and it is nice to see that Citizenre has a solution to keep rates low for the homeowner.


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