California's community colleges are getting greener with the help of a clean-energy tax measure that brought them $40 million in the past academic year alone for infrastructure upgrades and $5 million for green-jobs training.
The chancellor's office predicts that the 313 projects funded in the past year will save the system $4.6 million annually and reduce energy use by the equivalent of 2.9 million gallons of gasoline.
Among the improvements the 2012 voter-approved measure helped to fund is a $3.6 million solar photovoltaic array at Cañada College in Redwood City, which is expected to generate half of the college's electricity. (The measure funded about $554,000 of the construction cost, according to a news release from the chancellor's office.)
All 72 community college districts received funding for upgrades, according to the release. The colleges expect to receive more money from the measure -- Proposition 39, or the California Clean Energy Jobs Act -- in the coming years.
"The projects we are investing in today will save the system millions in power bills tomorrow and build better green jobs training programs so that students can pursue rewarding careers in this dynamic field," said California community colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris.
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