LASD trims trees in preparation for solar installation

Rendering Courtesy ofLos Altos School District
The Los Altos School District is trimming trees at all of its campuses in advance of installing solar shade structures, shown in the rendering at left.

Crews are trimming and removing trees this week to make way for installation of solar shade structures at each of the 10 Los Altos School District campuses.

The structures are slated for installation in school parking lots, except at Oak Avenue School, where the structures will be installed on the play area blacktop. The structures are similar to those already in place in the parking lots at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools.

“Installing the solar structures will enable us to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and reduce our carbon footprint, equivalent to 3.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually,” said Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent for business services.

Construction on the solar shade structures is set to begin Sept. 18, with temporary fencing erected, and continue for 8-10 weeks, Kenyon said, noting that all work and materials will be contained within the fenced area, and construction work will adhere to the noise and safety requirements of all local enforcement codes.

“The district is excited to do its part in preserving our environment (reducing its carbon footprint) by installing solar panels at all our school sites,” he said. “And we expect to save $200,000 or more annually on our utility bills as a result of being able to grandfather our current PG&E rate structure. In order to take advantage of this rate structure grandfathering, we have a short window of opportunity – meaning the project must be completed before the end of the calendar year (Dec. 31).”

Funds for the project come from the general operating budget, Kenyon said, not from Measure N bond funds.

According to Kenyon, traffic and parking will be impacted on and around the school sites during construction.

“We are working with police and traffic control departments to mitigate the impacts on the school neighborhoods,” he said. “Where possible, we have made alternate parking arrangements.”

For updates on the project and more information, visit

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