SPUSD Solar Projects to Begin Late March

PHOTO: Anna Fratto | The South Pasadenan News | SPUSD


On March 29, 2024, South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) will kick off its solar projects with panel installation at South Pasadena High School (SPHS) and Monterey Hills Elementary School. Rooftop panels will be added atop SPHS’s 200 Building along Fremont Avenue and on most building rooftops at Monterey Hills. The high school’s second phase of installation includes carport solar arrays that will be added this summer. The SPHS parking lot will be closed during construction—notably during summer school.

“The SPUSD solar projects will produce power for school sites and will further enhance our energy independence and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Superintendent Geoff Yantz. “Project planners have scheduled the work with the least amount of disruption to students and staff while keeping everything on schedule.”

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Once the school year ends, the solar projects will continue with shade structures being added on the playground at Arroyo Vista Elementary School. South Pasadena Middle School’s (SPMS) projects will include solar shade structures on the field and carport configurations in the parking lot. These projects, beginning on June 6, require all SPMS fields and the parking lot to be closed due to ongoing construction. After summer school ends on July 5, construction will begin at the Marengo Elementary School playground with the addition of solar shade structures. At the District Office, a carport array will be added later this summer.  Work on all projects is expected to be complete by the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

“The overall project includes installing panels that will supply more than 1100kW DC of power,” said Superintendent Yantz. The panels will produce an energy (solar) offset ranging from 33-90% depending on the site where they are installed, generating a significant portion of the District’s overall energy demands.” 

The Board of Education approved the solar project in April 2023 with a not-to-exceed $8.7 million project budget. Measure SP, which funds necessary facility improvements for schools, will be used to pay for the projects. The District also will apply for a federal rebate upon project completion, which would reduce the total cost by approximately 30%.