Local high schools go solar

CHS and PVHS take a big sustainability step


A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the beginning of the solar-power era for Pleasant Valley and Chico high schools.

Both schools were honored for their commitment to sustainability at the PVHS event on Oct. 6, although the solar panels mounted on the shade structures for both schools were already producing electricity. Four members of the Chico Unified School District’s Board of Trustees were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon (pictured).

The panels will generate enough electricity to cover about 80 percent of the energy needs of both schools. The school district will save an estimated $3.7 million in energy expenses over the next 20 years.

Mike Weissenborn, CUSD’s director of facilities planning and construction, said the solar installations’ ability to withstand the mix of heavy winds, rain and hail on the evening of Oct. 5 was a good sign.

“We’re glad to see the solar cells were able to take the beating they did,” Weissenborn said.