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MUSD going solar showing some payback
A worker installing solar panels at Golden West School last year. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Going solar for Manteca Unified is starting to pay off. Of the 9.1 million kWh (kilowatt hour) of electricity that the district consumed so far during fiscal year 2013-2014, 2.5 kWh – or 27 percent – was generated by the array of solar installations at the school district and about two-dozen other campus locations. The remaining 73 percent was generated by PG&E.

Total PG&E electrical cost during the current fiscal year is $1,725,888.

Those numbers came from a report presented by the district’s Victoria Brunn and her sustainability team during the board meeting Tuesday night.

Their report also indicated that of the district’s expected electricity total cost of $20,283,132 from July 2009 to March 2014, the actual bill paid was $12,530,187 which represented a savings of $7,752,945 or 38.2 percent of the total cost.

“Comprehensive, extensive shutdowns are key to achieving savings targets,” the team stated in their report. They pointed out that shutdowns during the summer of 2013 (June to August school break) generated $775,975 of annual savings for the district, or 35 percent.

With electricity the district’s largest commodity, it warrants the greatest saving effort, the report added.

Next savings challenge for the district: water and irrigation.