When Twin Hills School District in Sebastopol, Calif. recently unveiled its new electric vehicle charging stations, it became the first public school district in the nation to let teachers, staff, parents and the community recharge their cars on campus using solar power, according to the school district.
The solar arrays and charging stations were made possible through Measure M funds, created as a result of a county-wide ballot initiative that earmarked sales tax receipts for infrastructure improvements. The investment in solar power reduces the district’s utility bills to near zero and will pay for itself in just a few years.
Solar EV stations = cleaner air “Allowing members of the community to use the plug-in electric power stations is one way we can thank the community for coming through for us with Measure M funding,” said Les Crawford, district superintendent. “And it’s nice to know we’re contributing to a cleaner environment for all of us, not just our Twin Hills community.”
In addition to installing plug-in charging stations and enough solar arrays to enable three of its four campuses to drive 100% of their electricity needs from solar power, saving $85,000 in annual utility costs (and creating shaded parking spaces and outdoor areas where kids eat their lunch), the district implemented one of the nation’s most aggressive recycling programs, reducing its solid waste to near zero. A renewable energy curriculum brings the greening initiative into every Twin Hills district classroom.
“Integrating the solar arrays into the covered walkways and car (and kid) ports marries design and functionality into everyday structures found on school campuses,” said Alexis Persinger, Principal Architect of Persinger Architects, which designed the solar projects. “We hope our sustainable and ecologically-sound designs inspire parents and students alike.”