About Plumas Charter School
About Plumas Charter School
Plumas Charter School is a no-cost, public school located in Plumas County in northern California. The Charter School has three learning centers in Plumas County, including a school in Quincy which is going solar with RE-volv in summer 2022!
Plumas Charter School has been serving the community since 1998 and providing education for 315 students, 48% from low-income families. Plumas’ mission is to, “Provide a personalized learning environment with a culture of acceptance for a diverse community. We encourage the development of compassionate, resilient, lifelong learners. Our core values are respect, compassion, responsiveness, and accountability—for ourselves, each other, and our environment.”
In addition to the core classes offered for each grade, Plumas Charter School also offers various enrichment activities, including music, art, performing arts, physical education, gardening, and outdoor education programs.
Solarizing a New School Building - A Seven Year Journey
The 2022 - 2023 school year will be the first year that Plumas Charter School in Quincy will utilize its new building, which the school had been planning for seven years. Prior to moving into their new building, the school utilized four buildings at different locations across the town. As classes begin in fall 2022, students will have classes in their new school, which will be powered with clean, renewable energy!
The town of Quincy is a small town with 1,700 residents. Over the past decade a handful of new buildings have been built in the town, making Plumas Charter School’s new learning center a valuable asset for the community and the students it serves.
Solar Impact on Students and the Community
Plumas County is located in a high wildfire area of northern California. The local community is regularly affected by wildfire threats and power outages due to wildfires. “We are a K-12 charter school operating in a high wildfire area with limited resources trying to bring as much opportunity to our students and staff as possible,” says Taletha Washburn, Executive Director of Plumas Charter School.
The school decided to go solar for many reasons, including that their solar system will help support clean energy and local jobs, will help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and will demonstrate leadership in the community.
By going solar with RE-volv, Plumas Charter School’s 54kW solar system will save the school more than $250,000 off the cost of their electricity bills over the lifetime of the solar system. With those solar savings, the school will be able to provide more direct services to their students and be more resilient to the rising costs of electricity in California.
Community Collaboration for Solar Energy
Plumas Charter School went solar with the help of both RE-volv and GRID Alternatives. Through a Power Purchase Agreement, RE-volv is helping Plumas Charter School finance their solar project. The school was able to go solar for $0 down through a 20-year solar lease. As the school pays back RE-volv for their solar system, their solar payments will go to RE-volv’s Solar Seed Fund, a pay-it-forward fund for solar used to bring solar to more nonprofits.
This project was also made possible with the help of GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest nonprofit installer of clean energy technologies. GRID will be installing the solar system, where trainees from their Workforce Development Program will assist in the solar installation, gaining hands-on experience and training that will help participants as they begin their career in the solar industry. Taletha Washburn, Executive Director of Plumas Charter School says, “GRID Alternatives found us, and the partnership with RE-volv became a part of the conversation in order for us to afford going solar.”