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Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
March 29, 2024 (El Cajon) – Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are going green with the start-up of solar panels on both campuses that are expected to save $43 million over 20 years for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
The panels located in parking lots at the two East County colleges include storage systems that allow the district to buy power at lower prices in the early morning, then store the power until it is used later in the day when rates are higher. The district has also installed electric vehicle charging stations for students and employees at the Grossmont and Cuyamaca College campuses.

“This is a win-win for the district,” said Lynn Ceresino Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “We’re helping the environment by using a renewable energy source and we’re also saving taxpayer money.”
The district is expected to save about $600,000 in the first year that the panels are working, and the savings will exponentially increase over the 20-year life of the contract, with the largest savings occurring in the later years. 
The district had the solar panels built through a partnership with ForeFront Power, a leading developer of commercial and industrial-scale solar energy and battery storage projects in the US and Mexico. The district pays for the electricity generated by the panels, and the rate for the power through Forefront is set for the next 20 years. This set rate from ForeFront removes the effects of any rate increases which may be approved by San Diego Gas & Electric Company in the future for 69% of the district’s electricity needs.
The solar panels have been in place for about a year as the district worked to get interconnected with SDG&E and finished up the last items of the project. In addition to the solar savings, students and employees have appreciated being able to park their vehicle in the shade provided by the structures.

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