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San Ramon Valley Unified School District installs 10k photovoltaic panels at five schools

In a move that is proving to be controversial with some, some California school districts are looking to a high-tech way to save money, even if the payback won't be achieved until well over a decade later. CNN is reporting that some California school districts are looking to low-interest federal loans to install solar panels on schools.

CNN singled out the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, which has installed roughly 10,000 photovoltaic panels at five of its 35 total schools at a cost of $23 million. Under the most optimistic projections, the photovoltaic panels would offset energy usage at the schools by 67 to 75 percent. 

According to spokesman Terry Koehne, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District will pay back the loans courtesy of the energy savings from using the solar installations. However, this won't be a quick payback for the school system -- it will take roughly 16 years to break even on the photovoltaic panels.

Koehne, however, points to the upside of embarking on this expensive venture; "It's pure profit after that. And following that, we're going to start realizing savings of $2 (million), $3 (million), $4 million a year."

Like many schools across the nation, California schools are facing a serious budget crunch. Less money means fewer teachers, fewer teaching assistants, and more students per classroom. By making this move now, the school district is hoping that the future payoff will allow it use its resources more wisely. 

Lower production costs, thanks to stiff competition from Chinese companies, is causing a surge in the adoption of solar panels. One of the causalities of the race to the bottom in panel costs was Silicon Valley-based Solyndra. The company received a rushed $535 million loan courtesy of the Obama industry during 2009 in order to bolster its operations.

However, the company two years later filed for bankruptcy and axed over 1,000 employees. Interestingly, an email that was sent out before final approval of the loan was granted rightly projected that the company would run out of money by September 2011. 

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RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By FITCamaro on 9/18/2011 6:26:57 PM , Rating: 5
Well at least you admit you're an idiot.

Eliminating the entire defense budget would take us from a $1.5-1.6 trillion deficit to a $1-1.1 trillion deficit. COUNTRY SAVED!


Your post seems to think that the military is costing us around $3 trillion a year.

RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By Odysseus145 on 9/18/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By FITCamaro on 9/18/2011 10:38:46 PM , Rating: 2
Are you fucking stupid? In 3 years with a $1-1.1 trillion DEFICIT we'd be $17+ trillion in debt. Not debt free.

DEFICIT = the amount of money in a year that the government spends more than it takes in

DEBT = the total amount of money from each years deficit added up.

What kind of fucking stupid insano math does your brain operate under?

RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By undummy on 9/18/2011 11:31:10 PM , Rating: 4
That stoopid insano math would be "liberal public school math taught by union teachers with no kids left behind but none moving forward either".

Sad that some want to cut the military budget and lay off millions of our soldiers that are protecting, fighting, and dying for us. Many poor use the military as a stepping stone out of the ghetto's poverty. Many undereducated use the military to become educated via the GI Bill....

RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By Paj on 9/19/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By Solandri on 9/19/2011 8:38:32 AM , Rating: 4
The U.S. is already near the top in education spending per student. The problem with our education system is not lack of funding. It's that the funds are poorly used. Until that is fixed, increasing spending on education is just throwing more money into a pit.

RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By DrApop on 9/19/2011 2:54:20 PM , Rating: 3
The problem with our education system is not lack of funding. It's that the funds are poorly used.

I disagree (well OK there is a lot of poorly spend funds...but that happens everywhere unfortunately). The REAL problem with our education system is that parents are no longer being parents. They aren't involved in their kids education anymore.

Parents seem to no longer care....except to complain in general about the poor state of education. But if you ask them what their kid learned today or what they ate for lunch, or what their kids talked about in math or english today, I think very few could answer any of those questions let alone one of them.

By geddarkstorm on 9/19/2011 3:28:32 PM , Rating: 3
Considering parents are the only ones you are hardwired to learn from before adulthood; and even more potently the early on in years you go...

But in a world of comfort and lack of personal responsibility (or viewing such as an honor), why would parents take on the trouble and difficulties of adding to their children's education? They'd have to actually love their kids, rather than just themselves.

By Odysseus145 on 9/19/2011 11:51:40 PM , Rating: 1
You're too easy, FIT

RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By DrApop on 9/19/2011 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Your 500 billion is way off the mark. You having included all the military aid, training, and weapons we provide all around the world....not to mention 2 wars with parts of their costs never included as part of the original budget.

But I am not for eliminating the military. I want to bring them ALL home. Fill up the bases we closed here in the US. That brings money back to the US. Military bases higher loads of civilians for all types of jobs on base....that increases job numbers enormously around bases. Food, clothing, electronics for servicemen could be US purchased and transported to bases rather than bought in europe or elsewhere for sales on foreign bases. And instead of the 20K servicemen guarding the border in Korea, they can guard OUR southern border.

Hey that is a 500 billion dollar US stimulus right there...and in our own yard!

RE: Bad economic analysis once more
By DrApop on 9/19/2011 2:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Sheesh, I think I need an education. That has to be the most poorly worded reply I have ever posted. I apologize...for the penmanship, not the message :)

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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