Private LA School Shows Commitment to Solar Power

7 Oct

canoga park MDS

The Manoogian Demirdjian School (MDS) in Canoga Park, CA. had a dedication ceremony for its 164 kW solar electric system to to celebrate the successful operation of one of the largest solar electric systems on any private school in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, California Assemblyman Paul Krekorian; chair of the new select committee on renewable energy, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian the primate of the Armenian Church of North America Western Diocese, MDS School Board of Trustees Chairman Sinan Sinanian, parents and other dignitaries were present at the ceremony.

The 164kW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system generates approximately 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity for the Pre-K thru 12 school. The 992 solar modules covering 15,000 square feet of roof space satisfy 40% of the school’s current electric needs.

“Ever since our Gymnasium facility has been covered with solar panels we have experienced a significant reduction in the need to use air conditioning for this building. The shade provided by the modules, is one of the incidental benefits, not to mention the protection of the roof material from direct sun,” says Levon Keshishian, director of Business Operations who oversees facilities management of the school.

The school monitors the production of the Solar Electric system and  displays its up to the minute production on a special monitor in the administration building lobby, and on the school’s website, for students, parents, staff and the community to see.

The school staff and student body have incorporated other environmentally-friendly measures, such as recycling bins, and through various club activities and recycling programs over the past years. Use of paper has been reduced drastically, collecting of cans, bottles and paper for recycling have become a tradition among the students.

“When designing a Solar PV system we look at the economics of going solar,” says Sevan Varteressian the President of California Green Designs, the Solar Integration company responsible for the design and installation of the AGBU MDS Solar PV System. “The school operates 181 days of the year, but the sun shines an average of 300 days, in a year in Los Angeles. When designing a system for the school, to satisfy its operating needs, you have to bear in mind the production of the system throughout the year. Net energy metering makes it possible for the school to use the excess energy generated during off school hours.”7-26-2006 3-25-31 PM_0013cleaned

According to LADWP’s website Net Energy Metering means measuring the difference between the electricity supplied from the electric grid and the electricity generated on the Customer’s premises and delivered back to the electric grid or net energy recorded at the Service Point.

Furthermore, Net energy metering is a special billing arrangement for customers with renewable energy systems, such as solar electricity systems that permit customers to get credit for the full retail value of the electricity their system generates. Under net energy metering, the customer’s electric meter keeps track of how much excess electricity is generated by the renewable energy system and sent back into the electric utility grid, and how much electricity is consumed by the customer. Over a 12 month period, the customer has to pay only for the net amount of electricity they use from their utility over-and-above the amount of electricity generated by their renewable energy system (in addition to monthly customer transmission, distribution, and meter service charges they incur).

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