Gov. Brown makes Valley visit to boost solar energy project

FRESNO, Calif.

The governor signed the bills at Marshall Elementary School in Fowler.

Fowler Unified is leading the way in renewable energy. Today the state's top leader came to recognize how their project will bring jobs, lower their electricity bill and tidy up the air.

"You are living here in a place where the sun has tremendous power, not just to grow things but also to provide the basis for electricity," Brown told students.

Governor Brown rolled out the Fowler Unified solar project as an example of a district committing to clean the air and investing in the future. He also signed three bills to help school districts with financing and financial rebates for renewable energy.

The Fowler Unified School District says the state's budget crisis has forced administrators to get creative with fewer resources.

"The only way to create more revenue is to create more students or look at the things that you do and we've attempted what we think an excellent project which is solar energy to create revenue for the long term that will benefit this district for 25 to 40 years," Fowler Unified Superintendent Eric Cederquist said.

According to the governor, the monetary commitment the district is making will more than pay off in the future.

"The bond money from the school district is buying the solar and that's going to save 14 million over 25 years. That's real money that's putting people to work today," Brown said.

And in addition to job creation, elected leaders and school officials say the project is another step to help clean up the Central Valley's filthy air.

Fowler will begin construction on the solar project in January or February of next year and be fully operational by the spring of next year.

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