How much solar on new PAUSD construction? Schools & Kids, posted by Left of Boom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm Left of Boom is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
With all the new PAUSD buildings, how many have Solar Photovoltaic Panels as part of their plans? What's PAUSD electric power usage broken down by school?
Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm Ducatigirl is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Unfortunately, solar panels are very expensive, and take decades to pay themselves off. If they are on a rooftop, they shorten the life of that roof, and can be a maintenance nightmare, according to friends who have had them.
School districts being financially strapped , it probably isn't economically feasible at this time. With the fiscal cliff issue, it is unlikely that solar tax deductions will ever come back.
Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm
I believe all the new buildings will be "solar ready" i.e. engineered to hold the weight of panels, etc. They are expensive and as a District, we try to keep the $$ we spend as close to the students as possible (which is why the Paly tower building looks so bad, it holds very little classroom space).
Posted by Left of Boom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm Left of Boom is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Even without net metering, Solar PVs have a payback period of around 5-7 years. That's why there are so many companies willing to pay the upfront cost so long as you lease the power for 20 years. Did PAUSD at least install the supports in their new roofs? This is a major fraction of the the cost as the panels themselves are a small fraction of their former cost when the bond measure paying for this construction passed.
So where do I find the power usage breakdown by school?
Posted by go solar, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Dec 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm
This is one great way to care for our environment - solar is a great idea. That said, there ARE different technologies, manufacturers, installers - Solyndra, for example, was an oddball niche variety that most in the industry realized was no good. Overall, there are increases in efficiency and the time is right to go solar.
Posted by Solar markets, a resident of Mountain View, on Dec 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm
"Solyndra, for example, was an oddball niche variety"
Solyndra had a very interesting technology that attracted a lot of interest, it just was going to be expensive, though advanced. It was sunk by the massive government investment by China in low cost, less efficient panels. Governments pick winners and losers around the world. Solyndra, under a program that derived it's funding from the previous administration, was a loser. If we don't fight the Chinese takeover of the market, only Germany (also highly supported by their government) and China will profit from the solar market.
And who the heck posted about panels rotting rooftops? Have they noticed that many new gas stations have solar? If big oil, of all people, sees the cost savings....
Posted by lowest bidder = CHEAP work, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm
I had rot problems with pool water panels (they eventually leak) back when I had solar water heating a decade ago.
I have zero problems with my solar PV panels. There's a bit of airflow underneath them. Anyone having a problem must have gone with the lowest bidder -- seriously, we are the Golden State, a very dry climate. Imagine if you lived in parts of the country that get rainfall year around? Despite that, a quick google on <solar panel roof rot> showed nothing. Nor does it appear to be an issue with inspectapedia.