Hayward Achieves Sustainable Energy and Enhanced Education
students access enhanced STEAM activities
in energy savings
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) serves over 20,000 students from preschool to adult school across 33 District campuses.
Starting in 2018, District leadership began exploring opportunities to make various improvements to its facilities and implement sustainable energy solutions to reduce utility spending. At the same time, District leaders saw renewable energy upgrades as a unique opportunity to provide meaningful connections to science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) concepts for students. To accomplish these objectives, HUSD partnered with ENGIE.
ENGIE’s Partnered Approach
ENGIE is committed to building three dimensions of impact for every customer’s future. Looking beyond simple financial savings, ENGIE combined environmental, fiscal and educational sustainability to create a platform for hands-on learning, teacher training and community awareness. ENGIE’s dedicated team of local energy experts worked closely with District staff to design and develop the program to be specifically customized for their energy needs. In conjunction, ENGIE’s Community Impact team collaborated with District principals and teachers to create hands-on STEAM activities that turn the District into a living laboratory, using the modernizations as a platform for hands-on learning and STEAM career exposure.
ENGIE partnered with the District to upgrade all 33 District sites with infrastructure improvements, solar shade structures, roof and ground-mount arrays. The implementation includes 5.3 MW of solar PV, 360 kW/720 kWh of battery storage and 38 electric vehicle (EV) chargers, creating a robust District-wide renewable energy profile.
ENGIE collaborated with sister company EVBox to procure the 38 EV stations, which were set up across 22 District sites and offer a total of 76 charging ports. HUSD was able to take advantage of grants for EV charging stations from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
The District is projected to see $65MM in General Fund savings over the life of the program. The new solar installations are expected to generate 90% of the District’s needs, through the production of 8,100,000 kWh in the first year—the equivalent to powering 650 homes for a year. This clean, on-site renewable power reduces costs and protects against future electricity rate increases.
In addition, the battery storage systems, funded in part by California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), are connected to the District’s solar arrays to reduce peak demand charges, optimize facility energy usage, and maximize utility savings. The District can access real-time energy data via the user-friendly ENGIE Utilityvision™ dashboard.
HUSD schools are also becoming a community hub for EV charging. As more EVs hit the road and drivers are looking for a public place to charge them, District staff, students, and parents will be able to charge vehicles while class is in session. The new charging stations contribute to meeting California’s goal of putting 5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the roads by 2030 and installing a total of 250,000 EV charging stations by 2025. Overall, the program is expected to provide environmental benefits equivalent to removing 1,153 cars from the road annually.
The project has also provided an opportunity to enhance students’ understanding of climate issues—and expose them to STEAM careers—through direct engagement with the science behind the sustainability project. ENGIE’s Community Impact team partnered with principals and teachers across the District to design, and support the implementation of, hands-on STEAM initiatives, such as the following :
- Science Fair: ENGIE engineers and energy professionals served as judges for the 2018 and 2019 District Science Fair and Family Technology Awareness Day, in addition to hosting a booth at the event with hands-on STEAM activities.
- 6th Grade Curriculum Development: In the summer of 2018, ENGIE’s Education team co- developed a 12-lesson Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned Climate Change unit for the 6th grade, including materials kits for hands-on activities, and interactive professional development (PD) sessions for teachers.
- Preschool STEAM Program: ENGIE will provide STEAM activities and materials for ten classrooms and an accompanying PD session for the District’s youngest learners in the Hayward USD preschool program.
- Living Labs: Real-time generation data from the solar panels are available to all District students and teachers via a web dashboard.
- High School Student Summer Internships: ENGIE is offering eight-week internships for Hayward USD high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in engineering. Students will work with ENGIE engineering mentors to gain experience on the construction site of a large-scale renewable energy project.
- Three New STEAM Buildings: District educators and ENGIE’s Education team are currently developing programming for new STEAM buildings on the middle school campuses.
About Hayward Unified School District
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) serves over 20,000 students representing diverse cultures, heritages, and economic conditions from preschool to adult school across 33 District campuses. The District offers a variety of college preparedness programs, career pathways, award-winning visual and performing arts programs, state-of-the-art facilities, dual language immersion programs in Spanish and Mandarin, athletics, and more.