Nine Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools will receive new solar panel systems on their roofs under an agreement that is anticipated to save the district about $1.1 million in energy costs.

The school district Board of Education voted Wednesday, April 14th to approve a public-private partnership agreement with Regeneration Finance LLC to install solar panel systems on the roofs of nine schools — Grant Elementary, Franklin Elementary, McKinley Elementary, John Muir Elementary, Will Rogers Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary in Santa Monica, and Juan Cabrillo Elementary, Point Dume Marine Science and Webster Elementary in Malibu.

The rooftop panels will provide an alternative electrical source for the schools and will not expand their existing uses, which exempts the systems from the California Environmental Quality Act, district staff said.

In addition to providing a reduced electrical power cost to the district, the installation of the panels is expected to avoid the production of 23,822 tons of greenhouse gases over the next 25 years, district staff said. Under the agreement, the district will need to grant REgeneration Finance easements for the solar panel systems over a 25-year term.

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