Southern California environment news and trends

Positive education: Sacramento high school goes solar

Mercer 16952

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Ah, high school. Those were the days. Well, not really. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place. Then again, my high school was the kind of place that turns up in horror movies. But hey, it’s Friday night. I’d rather imagine that I went to high school in Dillon, Texas, and Tami Taylor was my sympathetic counselor. But I digress.

I’d like to think that the students of St. Francis High School in Sacramento will go on to have much happier memories of the best years of their lives. They’ll certainly have good stories to tell their kids, like how they remember when most schools were powered by expensive electricity, and not primarily powered by the sun.

St. Francis recently installed a 253-kilowatt solar energy system to seven buildings on campus, which is expected to generate up to 31 percent of the school’s electricity, and save them a whopping $1 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.

Read More...

California is still America’s most solar-powered state

Mercer 16952

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

You can breathe easy, Team California Solar: we’re still Number One.

According to a report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, the state of California is responsible for close to half of America’s photovoltaic activity through 2010 (869 megawatts of installed capacity out of the nation’s total of 1,831 megawatts).

Within the state, San Diego reigns as California’s top solar-powered city, according to a new report from the Environment California Research & Policy Center. The city boasts more than 4500 solar-topped homes, businesses and government facilities, double the number of just two years ago.  San Diego accounts for close to 37 megawatts of the state’s sun-juiced energy.

“San Diego didn’t become the state’s Number One solar city by happenstance,” said mayor Jerry Sanders in a press release. “It was the result of local policies and programs that encourage investment in solar power.”

Read More...