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Berkeley Celebrates Washington Elementary School 103 kW Solar Installation

KyotoUSA and Moore Iacofano Goltsman (MIG), Inc., hosted a celebration of the completion of the Berkley Washington Elementary School 103 kW solar installation on February 23 and announced additional schools that will go solar with the help of the  HELiOS project.  The gathering was also the official launch date of the Community Climate FundTM  - a pool of donations that will help make these next two projects cost neutral to their school districts. You can read about HELiOS and the CCF at www.heliosproject.net.


Attending the event were Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin as well as Berkeley Unified School Superintendent, Bill Huyett, and Facilities Director Lew Jones, along with several BUSD School Board Members, including John Selawsky, the board member who championed the Washington project


Richmond’s Interactive Resources led the team that designed the Washington Elementary school solar project, the largest in Berkeley. I was the project manager, and Paul Westermann from Interactive Resources was the structural engineer. Blue Oak Energy from Davis was the electrical engineer and Eshone Energy was the general contractor. Parsons managed the project for the school district.


You can monitor the solar system’s performance in real time over the Internet via the  Fat Spaniel data logger at the following link:

In August 2008, KyotoUSA released a report, using Berkeley's Washington Elementary School as a case study, demonstrating that installing solar systems on schools leads to a quantifiable increase in jobs, boosts the local economy, reduces carbon dioxide and other harmful toxic air emissions and improves the health of those living in the area where the electricity is generated. Watch a video about this exciting project. The study also shows that the electricity derived from the photovoltaic systems improves the long-term economic well-being of the school district. Click here to  Learn more...

The 103kw Photovoltaic (PV) system uses 480 panels that will reduce green house gases by 721 tons during the life of the system, the equivalent to taking 119 cars off the road.


“The School Board at Washington Elementary is excited to be leading the way in solar,” said Bill Huyett, BUSD Superintendent. “We started this project because we believed that there was a financial benefit for the school and an opportunity for the students to learn by

example about the benefits of renewable energy.”


With guidance from Kyoto USA, the project was fully funded through a combination of state modernization grants, federal bonds, PG&E rebates and local school bonds.  “This is only the beginning,” said Huyett. “We are planning on installing solar at our new district office and additional schools in our district,” said Huyett.


For more information:



800 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710


(510) 704-8628 (w)

(510) 684-6484 (c)

e-mail: kyotousa@sbcglobal.net



(KyotoUSA is a sponsored project of the Sequoia Foundation)