Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for this grant?
Santa Clara County Smart & Resilient Solar Schools Program (SRS) is looking for a Santa Clara County school with existing solar installations, high energy and demand charges on their electricity bills, and motivation to meet increasingly complex energy objectives to pilot a new program intended to address energy cost, carbon and resilience.
How do I apply?
Schools interested in applying to be the host site should fill out the application form.
The next steps will be:
  1. We will schedule a 30-minute phone call with SRS program managers
  2. Your school will submit data authorization through the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Data Hive
  3. After looking at your data we may call to follow up with a site assessment call (30 minutes) with the facility or maintenance manager
  4. Those who progress past this step will do a site walk through with the SRS program manager (4 hours) and a site team interview (60 minutes)
What does the pilot entail?
The school selected for this pilot will receive a free installation and license for a smart building technology that treats any commercial building with a solar array like a battery - whether or not a battery is installed. The technology optimizes building energy use to reduce demand charges, better match on-site solar production and reduce carbon emissions which means the host site saves money and carbon.  Doing so improves the economics of resilience and defrays the cost of  backup generation for the host school should your district wish to move in that direction.
What if we don’t have solar?
Good news! Any schools (even those without solar) in Santa Clara County are welcome to participate in Smart & Resilient Solar Schools human centered design workshops (May-August 2021)  to discuss how interfaces to the technology can advance students’, faculty, family members’ and staff understanding of energy flexibility as a core component in a resilient, renewable energy future. Sign up for details.
When will all of this happen?
February-April 2021
SRS will answer questions and gauge interest in workshops and being a host site.

May-July 2021
Program application open. SRS will analyze energy and site specific building data and select qualified host site finalists.

August - October 2021
SRS will conduct focus groups with the broader school community. SRS will install and operate the technology at the host site school.

November 2021 - January 2022
We will roll out the monitoring, results, outcomes and lessons learned from the host site for the broader Santa Clara County Smart & Resilient Solar Schools community.
How can this be free to the school that hosts the pilot?
Financial support for Santa Clara County Smart & Resilient Solar Schools is provided through the Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) Innovation Onramp Program. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is the community choice electricity provider for thirteen communities in Santa Clara County formed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change locally. Silicon Valley Clean Energy provides homes and businesses with clean, carbon-free electricity at competitive rates.  SVCE buys energy on behalf of your district (though your electricity bill and the wires to carry that energy to your buildings are delivered by PG&E) - making you a customer of SVCE.  SVCE reinvests locally through programs and community support, and is accelerating electric technologies through innovation. To learn more visit SVCleanEnergy.org/innovation.