Solar Rooftop Installation Project
Prop. 39 Grant Rooftop Solar Projects - Tierra Linda & Mariposa Schools
As part of the Prop 39 State Energy Grant Program in 2013, SCSD received grant funds from the State of California to implement energy efficiency plans to reduce our energy footprint and costs of energy through solar projects, lighting changes and heating/AC improvements. The grant funds are restricted for these projects and are not part of our district budget. In the summer of 2018, three solar shade structures were installed by REC Solar at Heather, Arundel and Arroyo. The Department of State Architecture (DSA) approved the Tierra Linda and Mariposa plans and installation is anticipated to begin October 28. Construction will take place over about 8 weeks. We are working closely with the construction company to minimize disruptions to the school day. For more information on the project, attend a Community Meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 22 at 9:00am in the Tierra Linda Learning Commons.
Solar Rooftop Installation Project - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will installation impact traffic?
- No, REC Solar is well versed in working on active school sites and will make sure all crews will avoid any work that would impact traffic during peak drop-off and pick-up times.
What precautions are being taken to ensure safety of students and staff?
- Safety is REC Solar's highest concern. Strict safety protocols will be adhered to while on school grounds. Additional precautions are in place to ensure that nothing will fall off the roof and injure students or staff. All construction workers have had security checks and will be closely supervised. They will never interact directly with students.
Timing - why not install during Thanksgiving or Winter Break?
- We are making every attempt to minimize impact to school operations, but since these projects are partially funded with Proposition 39 grant money, schedules must be accelerated to ensure projects are complete per Prop 39 program requirements. It is estimated the system will take 8 weeks to install.
Will weather impact the project?
Weather can and likely will impact construction activities. Significant rain or wind events will make working on the roofs unsafe, so no work will occur on roofs during these events. This is the primary reason that we did not wait until Thanksgiving or Winter Breaks to construct the system.
What is the work schedule?
- We understand that this is critical to maintain school activities and plan for any special accommodations due to construction activities. REC Solar will be providing detailed 3-week look ahead schedules prior to commencing work and will update these schedules every week until completion.
Where will the staging take place?
- REC Solar and District staff have identified a secure, out of the way area that will be used for staging materials, construction crew and parking.
How much noise will the installation make?
- Most noise will be in the beginning of the construction phase when crews are drilling and installing the anchors. You will hear construction teams walking on the roof, drilling pilot holes, and setting anchor screws with impact drivers. It will be noticeable, but should not make the classrooms unusable due to noise.
Are noise canceling headphones needed?
- Accommodations for students who are more impacted by noise will be made. Staff will check in with students and communicate with parents if their child is having a hard time dealing with the noise.
What about the air quality from drilling?
- The anchor pilot holes to be drilled are less than 1/4". The Division of State Architects (DSA) approved the plan and confirmed it does not need dust mitigation as there will be limited and localized sawdust and roof membrane material from drilling. REC has confirmed that existing roof materials do not contain hazardous materials, such as asbestos.
Is there better technology available?
- There is currently no better commercially available technology to generate clean renewable energy on site.
How much does the system weigh?
- The system is rated at 5 lbs. per square foot and has been approved for installation by the Division of State Architect (DSA), which reviews and has jurisdiction on all school construction projects.
What are the benefits of installing solar?
- The solar project at TL is estimated to offset ~98% of site energy consumption at TL, Mariposa and the Charter Learning Center combined.
- The solar project at TL will provide numerous benefits to the District and community. The District will save over $10,000 in electric utility bill payments in the first year at TL alone, and is estimated to save over $615,000 at this site over the 30-yr lifetime of the project.
- The environmental benefits by avoiding consumption of fossil fuel generated electricity are significant. The solar system at TLMS will offset over 119 metric tons of eCO2 greenhouse gas emissions in the first year. This is equivalent to taking over 21 gas-powered passenger cars off the road each year or planting 24,000 trees each year.
- The shade of the solar panels on the roof actually increases the useful lifespan of the roof materials under them and reduces thermal heat transfer to the buildings, which helps maintain cooler temperatures in the classroom on hot days.
- The solar project will be a visible example of the District's commitment to environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility for both students and community to see. Furthermore, REC Solar will be supporting educational development programs to use the solar system as a tangible example and tool to teach renewable energy topics in the classroom.
- Studies have shown that District's that invest in solar projects are more likely to increase the quality of education and comfort in the classroom by generating savings to the General Fund, and in turn increase property values for the community because of having better schools.