Solar panels to save energy

by Eddie Lu

To conserve electricity as well as provide a shaded parking area for faculty and students, solar panels are being installed in the upper and lower parking lots.

All schools in the Montebello Unified School District will be receiving solar panel structures paid for by the Measure GS, a voter approved district-wide bond passed in 2016.

With the addition of solar panels comes benefits, including a more efficient and cost-reducing method of producing electricity. The kWh (kilowatt-hour) saved every year is 1,570,310. This is enough to power 71,703 laptops for one hour per day for an entire year.  Using solar panels is more eco-friendly (does not create pollution) and slows global warming, according to cleantechnica.com.

“The advantage of having solar panels is that they can reduce carbon footprints,” said Principal Francisco J. Arregui. “It benefits us on factors such as energy consumption, cost saving, and it also serves another purpose by giving us shade.”

solar panels JPEG

By Karen La

Although the implementation of solar panels may have inconvenienced students and faculty by closing the parking lots during construction, they have compensated by the opening of a designated parking area on the outdoor basketball courts. 

“I believe the parking lots are great. Since my car is now shaded, it is not as hot as it used to be. Also, we are getting solar power, which is a plus since it provides a more reliable energy source. However, it has inconvenienced me as I no longer have a guaranteed parking spot,” said Lenie Galima, math teacher.

Students who drive may find that they are required to wake up earlier to get a parking spot, as space is limited. With only one available parking area, some students may have to find alternatives.

“I love the addition of the solar panels because it provides shade and makes waiting out in the parking lot more bearable. Since the construction is taking a very long time, I have to wake up and go to school earlier just to get a parking space, since it is on a first-come-first-serve basis,” said Kristina Chavez, senior.

Construction is overseen by Gerald Davis, project manager at Jeff Woods. This project began Oct. 30 and is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 29. More information about the Bond Measure GS is available online at montebello.k12.ca.us.

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