IUSD Solar Technology

The Irvine Unified School District is moving forward with plans to harness solar power at nine additional Irvine campuses. Here's what you need to know.

A little background

In 2010 and 2011, IUSD added energy-generating solar tiles to the rooftops of 13 schools, and vehicle shade structures outfitted with the photovoltaic panels were constructed at two district sites. By entering into a mutually beneficial power-purchasing agreement with SunEdison, our district paid no upfront capital costs and is now saving about $220,000 a year.

The second phase

The second phase of this initiative, approved at the July 10 Board of Education meeting, will add new vehicle shade structures to the parking lots of the following schools: Alderwood, Stonegate and Woodbury elementary schools; Vista Verde School, which is a K-8; Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools; and the new Jeffrey Trail Middle School. Renderings for each site are below.

Energy, environment, education

Phase 2 will multiply the environmental benefits, as well as the curricular opportunities in IUSD. It will also enable our district to reduce energy spending by about $305,000 a year, with a projected 20-year savings of approximately $9.6 million. Those dollars will be unrestricted, meaning they can help offset further operational cuts as we weather California’s fiscal crisis.

Site renderings

Renderings of vehicle shade structuresClick on the links below to see what each school's parking lot will look like with the addition of vehicle shade structures that collect solar energy.