Baldwin Park School Officials Celebrate Solar Project Completion

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BALDWIN PARK – School officials Thursday celebrated the completion of a solar energy project that will power the district’s headquarters.  Phase One of this job-site has solar panels on the roof of the district’s headquarters and a carport that was constructed to hold the energy-gathering panels.  The project at the district headquarters is the first phase in a $15 million project that will bring solar power to six elementary schools and Baldwin Park High School.  The entire project of 9,000+ solar panels is slated for completion in September 2013, replacing 70 percent of the district’s electricity bill with the renewable energy.

The solar impacts  will reduce the cost of electrical consumption by generating approximately 2.6 million kilo watt hours per average year, reduce CO2 annually by an estimated 3.7 million pounds, and result in a substantial annual savings.  On hand for the unveiling were: Superintendent Mark Skvarna, Police Capt. Rudy Gatto, and Mayoer Manuel Lozano.

Superintendent Skvarna has noted that during the summer months, the district will sell enough energy back to Edison to power 600 homes.  The multi-million dollar project was funded with a $25 million federal grant.

Baldwin Park School Police Capt. Rudy Gatto feels the new carports not only look nice, but the bright lights provide an added layer of security to the previously dimly lit lot.   “The first time they turned it on, I drove around the corner and thought a space ship landed,” Gatto said. “It really helps from a security angle, because it used to be so dark.”

Mayor Manuel Lozano said, “The recent earthquake in Japan and fears of a nuclear meltdown at a power plant which lost its cooling capacity highlights the need for more solar power.  “President Obama has committed to additional nuclear power plants and we must say, `No.’

The first phase of the Solar Energy project is completed at Baldwin Park Unified School District office in Baldwin Park on Thursday, March 17, 2011. The district office is the first of eight sites in the district to be completed and will generate approximately 3.246 kw/hr of electricity during the first year of operation. The district is looking to save an estimated $22.6 million in energy costs.

About Baldwin Park Unified School District: Consists of 3 elementary schools, 4 junior high schools, 2 comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school, an adult school of 5,000, and a Children’s Center. The district (k-12) has grown from 14 students in 1884 to 13,000 in 1982.  Additional information can be found at www.BPUSD.NET
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