Rooftop solar photovoltaic panels recently installed at 12 primary schools in the Redondo Beach Unified School District in California, US were funded by the state’s Measure Q, a US$63 million bond measure to support improvements in classroom, technology and energy efficiency.

The measure was passed in late 2012 and includes $500 million for green technology including on-site renewable energy systems.

Savings from the $8 million Redondo Beach school solar project are predicted to be in the range of $15 million over 20 years, with district-wide energy use expected to drop by 70%.

Given initial concerns about the location of the solar panels on school grounds, solar company PsomasFMG installed them in open spaces near athletic fields and playgrounds, and in parking lots where they will provide shaded parking.

The PV systems will power the neighbourhoods around the schools in summer when classes are not in session.