HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Huntington Beach City School District and Chevron Energy Solutions announced the completion of a 592-kilowatt solar electric system that will reduce energy costs for operations at nine elementary school sites in Huntington Beach, saving the district more than $15 million over the life of the project. The new system is part of a project that adds solar photovoltaic panels mounted on shade structures to five campuses, upgrades interior lighting at nine campuses, and replaces rooftop units at two campuses, including upgraded controls. The project is expected to cut the Huntington Beach City School District’s electrical utility usage by 30 percent.

Chevron Energy Solutions said it is the first energy efficiency and solar project at an elementary school district in Orange County. Chevron designed and engineered the solar system, provided the installation, and will perform operation and maintenance services, as well as guaranteeing the system’s performance. The company also implemented the energy efficiency improvements to campus HVAC and lighting systems, which are expected to reduce the district’s annual energy consumption and provide other benefits, including improved lighting quality and aesthetics, reduced maintenance costs, and consistent indoor climate quality.

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for environmentally sustainable operations at the Huntington Beach City School District — one that allows the community to experience the benefits of clean power without negatively impacting limited resources,” said Jon Archibald, Huntington Beach City School District Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. “In fact, a unique benefit of this solar project is providing protective shade for our students. We are grateful to all those involved for their dedication that has enabled the Huntington Beach City School District to realize the benefits of solar energy to our community.”

Through energy efficiency improvements and solar power generation, the District is reducing its purchase of utility power and in turn, reducing carbon emissions by more than 850 metric tons.

Teachers are also able to tie information from the project to the California Math and Science curriculum standards through informational displays that provide real-time data on how much solar is being produced and the corresponding environmental benefits.

“Huntington Beach City School District is demonstrating fiscal and environmental leadership by improving their energy efficiency and use of renewable power,” said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. “The project also improves the classroom learning environment, which is an important element in boosting student achievement.”

Southern California Edison presented an incentive check totaling $1,295,144 to the Huntington Beach City School District as part of the California Solar Incentive, which is administered by the utility.

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Publication date: 03/05/2012