The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) in Southern California is set to receive 21 solar canopies at schools across the district, thanks to a 25-year agreement with Standard Solar.
The project was developed in partnership with EMCOR Services. Mesa Energy Systems and Standard Solar is funding and will own and operate the portfolio of solar canopy systems. Of the 21 projects, 14 haver been completed, with the other seven set to come on-line by October. In all, the portfolio totals just over 4 MW in capacity.
For LBUSD, the portfolio is expected to help the district achieve achieve its sustainability goals, offsetting the CO2 equivalent of approximately six million pounds of coal burned in their first year of operation.
Both Standard Solar and LBUSD said that the canopies will help reduce the urban heat island (UHI) effect often generated in dense, urban areas, a phenomenon seen at many of the schools included in this initiative.
An UHI is an urban area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The solar canopies can help minimize summer peak energy demand, air-conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions.
UHIs were also the partial focus of a Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory study which found that urban landscapes and man-made aerosols have the potential to accelerate hail storm formation, make their winds harsher, and direct these storms toward cities. It said that when storms form on the borders of urban and rural areas, the warmer, drier air in these areas can amplify the power of the storm and direct it toward urban areas.
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