Protest Over Solar Panels On Huntington Beach School Lawn

HUNTINGTON BEACH (AP) — Students and parents are angry over plans to install solar panels on a California school’s front lawn, a popular gathering spot for youngsters.

They say the Huntington Beach School District decision to install the solar panels takes away student open space and obstructs views of Dwyer Middle School.

Parents say they didn’t know about the $8 million project until it was approved in October. Solar panels at Huntington Beach schools are expected to save the district about $75,000 a year in energy costs.

On Thursday, parents and students gathered to protest, chanting, “Get off our grass!” and hoisting signs condemning Chevron Energy Solutions, which has the contract to install the panels.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • BG

    nice savings. 107 years of maintenance free operation, considering no interest and no change in the energy price and the school can save $25,000. Lets hope that the school will be there for 107 years. But maybe the energy prices will skyrocket and will only take 90 years to break even. I am keeping my fingers crossed. :) :(

    • eee

      doesnt really make sense, even if the price of energy is 100X more in 5 years, all that means, is you are making 100x more on the energy you collect (which is also the energy you do not need to buy from the power company)

  • bdj

    Why is the school putting the panels on the grass? Could it not put them on the roof where most solar panels are installed.? As for repayment, the idea is to help reduce the cost of electricity and to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’ve had solar panel for almost 10 years on my house, and during that time we’ve several blackout in our area. With the panels and backup batteries, I never lost power.

  • begardigo

    You know why the parents didn’t know about this project? Because they weren’t involved in their community. These idiots are the first to scream after the fact. Why didn’t they attend, read about, watch their local PTA, school board meeting, or city council meeting. If there were really interested and vested in what happens in there community this would not have been a surprise. And no its not the gov job to knock on your door and tell you everything that going on, turn off your tv and find out and get involved.

    • bdj

      I agree with begardigo. It’s the parents responsability to be aware of any action or problems at their childs school. The place to express your opinion is at school board meetings, not after the fact.

    • Kelly

      As a parent at Dywer, I cannot tell you how offensive this post is ~ I AM involved, in the school itself & in the community… several of us have even attended the city hearings regarding these panels. Don’t condem what you Don’t Know

  • aixnpains

    I have yet to read why the solar panels need to be installed on the lawn. Constant bickering without facts is pointless. For once it would be refreshing to read an article which contains facts on the issue at hand. The one fact I can agree on is the absence of personal responsibility on the parents part to keep abreast of issues at their child’s school.

  • MA Solar Enginer

    On average electricity escalates by 6.7% , The system, if it is covering 100% or even 80 % of the electrical need will pay back within a 6 to 10 yr range and then it will work the other way around, the school would be practically getting paid to have them. Its a flat cost of the systems life range.

    Possible things to consider on why they decided to place on the lawn:

    Solar is best used on the south west facing location.

    Any building over 10 years may not always be able to handle the pressure the panels may force down on the roof.

    Has any one looked at the plans? is their a possible mix of installed panels on the roof that reduce the needed construct a ground mounted system?

    Trees and other buildings in the local area can play a major roll in the placement of modules.

    The Sun is higher in the summer than in the winter which I am sure the engineers took into consideration on finding the best and safest place to install this system.

    Planing stages for projects such as this are long and strict. It should be of no surprise that the system will be installed where it is. The system had to be developed, plotted, analyze, gone through building and fire code approvals, and countless proposals to the school district.

    In the long run it will provide the school with better funding for needed educational materials, activities and much more.

    For those attacking the installers contracted to do the job, they are merely doing their jobs. Engineers and installers took countless hours and the board and city see the location as the optimal location to enrich the funding of that school. We must all see the positive position that is being made.

  • Make Your Own Solar Panels

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