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$31M solar project subject of hearing taking place Sept. 11

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POSTED September 1, 2012 1:22 a.m.

At their last meeting before the summer break, the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution instructing Superintendent Jason Messer to draft an agreement between the district and the two companies that have been selected to install a renewable power generation system and, along with it, an energy-retrofit program.

The next step of the process as required by law, and before the board can take a vote and make a final decision on this $31 million project, is a public hearing regarding this self-funding solar power project to benefit nearly all of Manteca Unified elementary and high school campuses plus the district offices.

The public hearing will be held at the regularly scheduled meeting of the board on Tuesday, Sept. 11, starting at 7 p.m. at the district office, 2271 West Louise Avenue, corner of Airport Way.

The draft agreement includes construction, installation, maintenance, and operation of solar photovoltaic and wind turbine generation systems, plus energy-efficiency measures on selected school sites in the district that are expected to be performed by Integrated Engineers & Contractors (IEC).

The purpose of this renewable-energy project is to make the district less dependent on Pacific Gas & Electric Company which would translate to millions of dollars saved in utility bills, with the expectation that the district will eventually become the owner of the power-generator system that would be installed. Initial figures indicate that energy savings realized from this project could be as much as $48 million in cumulative savings over a period of 25 years, or $3.2 million a year in PG&E savings.

The project would also give the district a Regional Environmental Studies Center at the district campus, plus electric vehicle charging stations, HVAC replacements to further lower energy and deferred maintenance costs, plus monitors at every school site.

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