High Tech Elementary and High Tech Middle Chula Vista Launch SDG&E's 25th Clean Energy Project

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- How do you NOT drive a car 8.4 million miles?  The new High Tech Elementary and High Tech Middle Chula Vista students know.  Today they helped do just that by adding a San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)-owned solar system to their school's rooftop – as well as adding solar to their curriculum.  This marks the 25th project like this for SDG&E's "Sustainable Communities Program," which now totals three megawatts of clean energy.  This energy goes back onto the grid which benefits each of the project's surrounding community.  

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The three megawatts of clean energy is equal to: NOT driving a car 8.4 million miles, powering 2,000 homes, saving 6.4 million pounds of greenhouse gases each year, planting 98,000 trees or removing 722 cars from the road.

The High Tech Elementary and High Tech Middle Chula Vista students flipped the switch on their rooftop solar system, marking the third solar project SDG&E has done with the charter school.  The effort includes a curriculum where students learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency.  

The schools are seeking LEED® Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council and were designed to be nearly 26 percent more energy efficient than required by California Building Codes.

"Moving forward, Sustainable Communities Program projects will incorporate advanced energy storage and electric vehicle charging stations," said David L. Geier, vice president of electric operations for SDG&E.  "These will serve as models for SDG&E's smart grid that will ultimately predict and 'intelligently' respond to the changing needs and actions of customers by efficiently delivering sustainable energy when it's most needed."

The program focuses on solar, fuel cells and energy storage for schools, municipal facilities, large multi-family mixed use developments.  The program team collaborates with builders to construct sustainable green buildings that are highly energy efficient.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. 

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For further information: Allison Zaragoza/Art Larson of San Diego Gas & Electric, +1-877-866-2066, www.sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge