State announces grants for schools

The Associated Press
Thursday October 17, 2002

SACRAMENTO — The California Energy Commission and the California Power Authority have set up a program to distribute $1.25 million in grants for schools to install rooftop solar energy systems, officials said Wednesday. 

The money is from settlements reached between Attorney General Bill Lockyer and two energy companies with long-term contracts with the state. Calpine Energy Services agreed to pay $6 million and Constellation Power Source Inc. agreed to pay $2.5 million. 

Of that total, $2.75 million will be used for retrofitting schools, hospitals and other public buildings, Lockyer’s office said. The $1.25 million “Solar Schools” program will be funded by that money. 

More money could become available if Lockyer renegotiates additional long-term contracts with other energy companies. 

State energy officials also announced that nearly $2.4 million was awarded for five research projects on the production of electricity from California landfills, livestock farms and food processing and wastewater treatment plants. 

The “biogas” projects could take advantage of ample sources of the gas at landfills, dairies and swine farms. The power produced at these sites could be used to offset electricity at those sites, or could be sold to the grid. 

The Energy Commission estimates that biogas sites could have the potential to produce up to 240 megawatts. A megawatt is enough electricity for about 750 California homes.