Dignitaries including Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee, San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees President Karen Schwarz, Karim Allana, principal at Allana Buick & Bers Inc., and SMCCCD Chancellor Ron Galatolo were invited to turn the "first shovel of dirt" on the project. A large crowd was welcomed by Cañada College President Larry Buckley, who also took part in the groundbreaking.
This is the first renewable energy project undertaken by the district.
The project, approved by the Board of Trustees in January, includes installation of ground-mounted solar panels on a 3.5-acre vacant project site located adjacent to the school’s athletic fields and just above the Farm Hill Boulevard entrance to campus. Jose Nuñez, vice chancellor of facilities planning and operations, said Cañada was chosen for the site because it has the greatest exposure to the sun year-round and is the least visually obtrusive to neighbors.
The timing for the project was ideal since Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act passed in 2012, allocates revenue to local education agencies to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Prop 39 gives the district $554,000 in funding and the California Solar Initiative will provide about $870,000 in rebates over a five-year period.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held upon completion of the project sometime this summer.