New portfolio of solar canopies in California to help reduce urban heat island effect

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) in Southern California is working toward achieving its sustainability goals by adding solar canopies at 21 of its schools. The projects are being developed by Standard Solar, which is also funding the project and will be its long-term owner and operator.

The project was developed in partnership with EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems.

Of the 21 school sites, 14 of them are now operational. The remaining will be completed by October. 

 “Standard Solar applauds the Long Beach Unified School District for taking this important step to reduce its impact on the environment,” said Shaun Laughlin, Standard Solar’s head of US Strategic Development, Partnerships, Project Finance and Acquisitions. “Adding these projects to our ownership portfolio directly supports our efforts to increase our deployed capital in the West.”

 The solar canopy systems will help LBUSD achieve its sustainability goals. In the first year of operation, it will offset the CO2 equivalent of approximately six million pounds of coal burned. Additionally, the canopy systems will help reduce the urban heat island (UHI) effect often generated in dense, urban areas such as those in the district. 

 “Clean energy is an essential part of our district-wide sustainability efforts. Our partnership with Standard Solar will help reduce our carbon footprint while saving the district millions of dollars over the 25-year agreement,” said Long Beach Unified School District Business Services Administrator Alan Reising. 

 “EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems is thrilled to be part of the 21 solar projects for the Long Beach Unified School District as the installing contractor,” said Robert Lake, President, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems. “The overall project is in excess of four megawatts and consists of multiple solar canopies throughout LBUSD’s elementary school portfolio. In addition to generating power from a sustainable renewable energy source, the canopies will provide shaded areas for the students. We applaud LBUSD for their vision in implementing this aggressive project that will provide lower-cost, clean power for years to come.” 

 A UHI is an urban area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The solar canopies can minimize summertime peak energy demand, air-conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions.

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