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In response to the economic crisis, The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched a US$350-million solar energy program in order to meet its goal to generate 50MW of solar electricity by 2012 and to reduce its annual US$80 million electricity bill.
The “We Build Green” program will place solar panels on schools and other district buildings. The installations are expected to save the district approximately US$12.5 million per year for 20 to 25 years, up to US$320 million. Randy Britt, the district’s director of sustainability, also expects the program to create jobs and provide a substantial economic stimulus.
"We are fighting for our economic lives," stated David Crippins, chairman of the district's school construction bond oversight committee. "What you are doing is absolutely essential, because we must become energy independent and, especially here in California, we must create our own jobs."