Los Angeles Unified School District
SolarCity Helps California's Largest School District Go Solar
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is not only one of the largest school districts in the countryâ€”it is also one of the greenest. SolarCity helped the District achieve its solar ambitions by installing solar systems totaling 4.5 MW across 17 school sites. SolarCity project managers worked closely with a number of LAUSD departments and collaborated with school officials to keep the project on schedule and in line with LAUSD requirements, in addition to standard Division of the State Architect (DSA) regulations.
Over $25.5 million in Savings LAUSD
Going solar had to make financial sense for LAUSD. Once complete, the solar installations are expected to save the district more than $776,000 in their first year of operation alone and over $25.5 million over the solar systems' warranty.
Thus far, SolarCity has completed projects at 7 schools and will install systems at an additional 9 schools by mid-2013. The various solar shade structures range in size from 197 kW to 312 kW, and offset between 25% and 100% of each school's electricity usage.
Project Coordination and Meeting LAUSD Standards
For SolarCity project managers, the most complex aspect of the project was not the technology, but rather the site-specific conditions at each school. SolarCity worked closely with various LAUSD departments to coordinate approvals and testing, including the district's Sustainability Department, Project Execution Team, Program Management Team and Energy Department. SolarCity also committed to meeting installation deadlines while working outside of school hours.
Solar Energizes Students while Providing Power to the Classroom
In addition to providing solar savings, SolarCity also developed a "solar walking tour" featuring educational signage illustrated with infographics and descriptions of the projects. Students can follow the solar electricity from the solar shade structures through the various components and all the way back to the classroom, where students can view the school's energy production in real time.
To further ensure that the solar systems are as educational as they are functional, each school will be equipped with a solar demonstration kit.