Raina Jiang | Co-Editor-in-Chief
In December 2015, El Vaquerito reported solar panels coming to the staff and student parking lots at Livermore High School in the summer of 2016. But where did they go? School let out that year for the summer, which came and went, and construction oddly never commenced. And when August rolled around for the 2016-2017 academic year, the rumored solar panels were forgotten in the back of everyone’s minds in the bustle of festivities like Walkthrough, Homecoming, and Snow Day.
Originally, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) Board of Trustees had approved a contract with SunEdison Government Solutions LLC (SunEdison) to install solar panels at eight Livermore schools, one of them being LHS. The planned contract would ensure a fixed rate for electricity at LHS, saving the District approximately 15 percent in power costs.
However, the solar panel construction was delayed until now because the solar company had gone bankrupt over the summer, according to Vice Principal Tom Fletcher. “The original company had pretty much gotten all ready to do the boring in the parking lot–I think they even spray painted the parking lot if I remember, and then they went bankrupt,” he said.
When asked about any recent updates on the solar panel installation, Vice Principal Erik Taylor, facilities director here at LHS, said, “I don’t have confirmation of it yet, but [the district] has gone out to bid and is working with a new company to put solar panels up.” The details of the new contract remain unclear.
Earlier this week, staff and students reported seeing a truck drilling holes in the staff parking lot. According to Vice Principal Taylor, “What they were doing was drilling to try and find the soil content so they can put a structure in the ground for solar panels.”
Taylor also confirmed that the staff lot will see solar panels first, with installation for the student lot coming later. This is due to Measure J, the facilities bond that was recently passed to repair and upgrade schools in LVJUSD. “The district has plans to tear down the old gym and rebuild it, and they don’t know how that’s going to impact the student lot,” said Taylor.
Header credit: Clean Technica