Skip to main content


"Flipping the Switch" on Our Solar Energy Program
Posted 11/15/19

Flipping the Switch event


Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) held a “flip-the-switch” event in honor of its 5.3MW solar photovoltaic and integrated electric vehicle (EV) and battery storage project, coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) education offerings aligned with the infrastructure improvements. On Thursday, November 14, HUSD leadership, local elected officials, their bond partner TRiGroup, and their energy partner ENGIE Services U.S. (ENGIE) commemorated the completion of
construction and implementation of the districtwide energy program.

Through the collaborative partnership with ENGIE, HUSD’s energy upgrade represents a new approach to enhancing the learning environment, both inside and outside of the classroom – a key tenet of Hayward’s Bond Measure H, which provides funding for facility upgrades. The program is expected to generate $65 million in energy savings that can go directly back to the General Fund.




Accelerating Clean Energy
Student holding sunDuring the celebration event, Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne recognized the far-reaching impact of new sustainable energy across the district. All 33 sites within the district are in the process of going through infrastructure improvements, with solar shade structures, roofs, and ground mount arrays sized for all schools and administrative facilities. The new solar systems are expected to generate 8,100,000 kWh in the first year, the equivalent to producing enough clean energy to power 650 homes for one year.

The district’s energy program is expected to achieve several key outcomes:

  • $65MM in expected General Fund savings over the life of the program
  • New solar installations are expected to generate 90% of district’s energy needs
  • The program is expected to provide environmental benefits equivalent to removing 1,153 cars from the road annually


Leading the Charge

As part of the upgrades, 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. In fact, HUSD staff recently learned that they will be able to charge their cars for FREE during business hours. ENGIE worked with sister company EVBox to procure the EV charging stations. The three battery energy storage systems (BESS) are connected to their solar arrays to reduce peak demand charges, optimize facility energy usage, and maximize utility savings.


Engaging Future Leaders
It was paramount to the school board and district leadership that the energy program extend beyond renewable energy installations and act as a foundation to enhance students’ relationship to the science behind the sustainability project itself. With roughly 20,000 students across the district, it was critical to develop activities and opportunities for students of all ages to engage with the project so the technology comes to life.

Student speaking

ENGIE’s Education team partnered with principals and teachers across the District to design 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. Some of the STEAM activities that were developed or linked to the design, construction, and implementation of the project include:

  •  Living Labs (real-time generation data from the solar panels are available to all district students and teachers via a web dashboard)
  • Supporting the Launch of the District’s Three New STEAM buildings
  • Science Fair Engagement
  • High School Student Summer Internships
  • 6th Grade Curriculum Development
  • Preschool STEAM Program

As shared by Superintendent Dr. Wayne, “With critical support from our broad ‘Made in Hayward’ community – our Hayward families, local partners, and our board of trustees – we have been able to transform our schools with dynamic infrastructure improvements that enhance the learning environment and put money back into our General Fund for other classroom needs. With meaningful alignment with STEAM opportunities tied to our program, these upgrades produce positive dividends for our students in multiple ways.”

About ENGIE Services U.S.
ENGIE Services U.S., a division of ENGIE, is a national energy infrastructure and building services company that helps education, government, commercial and industrial customers become more efficient, productive and sustainable.