Last Thursday, May 27th, the Long Beach Green Schools Campaign met with LBUSD Facilities Director Alan Reising and Energy Director Gabriel Peredo.
We began by discussing LBUSD's initiative to install 21 solar canopies. The district has partnered with Standard Solar Inc. and EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems for the funding and installation of the solar canopies. The district has already installed the canopies at 14 campuses. According to Standard Solar, the canopies will offset carbon dioxide that is equal to 6 million pounds of coal burned. The Long Beach Green Schools Campaign is excited to see LBUSD make strides towards energy sustainability and we are particularly excited to see the installation of carports (solar canopies), which also help reduce the city's heat islands.
During the meeting, we began by presenting our draft resolution that we would like to see the LBUSD Board of Education Pass that commits the district to 100% Clean and Renewable Energy. Alan Resiing emphasized the importance of considering energy efficiency when looking at a 100% renewable energy transition. He helped explain that a transition off of fossil fuels must include both renewable energy infrastructure as well as a reduction in energy consumption. He mentioned that the most effective way to reduce energy consumption is by changing everyday behavior. A simple example of an energy-conscious change you can implement daily is to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
We also discussed the pros and cons of the district financing renewable energy through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The facilities director told us that the challenge associated with PPAs is that the district would have to pay for the cost of solar along with paying the company for financing/installing the solar system.
The district is currently working on its Facilities Master Plan to discuss long-term facilities plans. Essentially, the district will be discussing where to invest its money. Mr. Reising said that this would be a great opportunity to discuss energy sustainability and management, and invited our campaign to be a stakeholder in this master plan. We look forward to helping the district decide the role of energy sustainability in the new master plan!
Mr. Reising also suggested that the Long Beach Green Schools Campaign hold an open community forum to discuss renewable energy options available to the school district. We are currently working on planning such an event to invite the city's energy stakeholders to discuss how to transition LBUSD off of fossil fuels!
We would like to thank Mr. Reising and Mr. Peredo for taking the time to meet with us. They have helped the campaign gain a better understanding of the district's energy consumption and the process of transitioning off of fossil fuels. We look forward to our continued work together!