Honeywell said Monday it has been awarded a contract to install and maintain solar panels on seven school district buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area.Honeywell Building Solutions expects to install the solar panels and begin providing the district with electricity by October 2007.
The solar technology is expected to supply 20 percent of the Pleasanton Unified School District’s electricity and save it an estimated $2.5 million in energy costs over the course of the 20-year contract. After the agreement expires, the school district can continue purchasing electricity from Honeywell, acquire ownership of the solar panels or explore other energy providers.
“As caretakers of the public’s money, our district always is exploring new ways to be more efficient,” said Larry Lagatta, director of maintenance and operations at Pleasanton Unified School District, which serves 14,600 throughout the district. “Through the agreement with Honeywell, we’re able to realize significant cost savings, as well as address our primary goal of being good stewards of the environment.”
The school district is working with Honeywell and the National Energy Education Development (NEED) to also create curricula covering the district’s solar panels and other energy-saving measures. NEED is a non-profit organization that promotes energy awareness education in school systems.
“A large part of becoming a more efficient school is educating students and staff about conservation practices that positively affect behaviors,” said Bill Radulovich, principal at Walnut Grove Elementary School. “Through the new curriculum and solar technology, we hope to decrease our energy consumption and waste output by 50 percent in the coming years.”