solar panels on Tillicum Middle School

In an effort to reduce our impact on the environment, the Bellevue School District has been installing and utilizing solar panels for the past decade – on both new construction and existing buildings. Solar installation began in 2010, when the district installed solar panels on the reconstructed concession stand at Interlake High School. This summer the district installed new solar projects at Bellevue High School, Chinook Middle School and Tyee Middle School.

In addition to solar panels, the district is also installing energy storage systems. Storing energy will allow the district to reduce our demand on the community’s power grid and cut the costs associated with operating buildings. Nationally, the median Energy Use Intensity (EUI) score for K-12 schools is 58.2 (on a scale of 0-100). The Bellevue School District operates many buildings that score under 20 EUI, including Ardmore Elementary School (16.2), Odle Middle School (16) and Bennett (17).

The Bellevue School District also began using only LED lighting about seven years ago. This approach, combined with advanced lighting control available with new technology, has reduced electrical consumption across the district and has helped make lighting a very small piece of our overall electrical consumption.

New technology has allowed the district enhanced visibility and control of all the systems that operate facilities across the district. We can better observe and control the way that our facilities use power – both stored and from the grid.