East Side Union High School District in San Jose, Calif., and Chevron Energy Solutions announced the completion of construction for the largest K–12 solar and energy-efficiency program in the United States. It is expected to generate $43 million in savings through a 7.1-megawatt (MW) solar and energy-efficiency project on 13 sites.

“Our new solar-energy system and the numerous energy-efficiency improvements we have made as part of this program will generate savings in the first year that is equivalent to the funding required for approximately 30 teacher jobs and improve the learning environment,” said Lan Nguyen, president of the ESUHSD Board. “At a time when our district is being forced to absorb painful budget cuts, due to the continued economic downturn, this program is a huge reason to celebrate.”

ESUHSD expects the program will offset its annual electricity usage by more than 55 percent and supports California’s clean-energy goals. As a result, the district expects to reduce its purchase of utility power. In addition, Chevron Energy Solutions delivered professional development for teachers that provided curriculum and hands-on experiments aligned with state standards helping to create a living laboratory to empower environmental and energy awareness.

Chevron Energy Solutions designed, constructed, operates, maintains, measures and guarantees the solar-energy system’s performance for the district. The company also engineered and installed the energy-efficiency improvements at the district, including lighting upgrades and installation of premium efficiency motors.

“The district is creating critical budget relief in an economic environment, which demands creative, responsible strategies,” said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions.