Solar Master Plans were applauded at a press conference November 14th because they pave the way for renewable energy systems in the Berkeley, Oakland and West Contra Costa School Districts. Solar energy reduces utility bills for our schools, frees up money for the classroom, cuts harmful emissions, and serves as a lesson to kids about the power and future of renewable energy. KyotoUSA, a Berkeley-based all volunteer grassroots organization, is leading an effort to reduce climate altering greenhouse gas emissions. Berkeley Unified School District’s partnership with KyotoUSA led to the installation of solar panels at Washington Elementary in 2008, Emerson Elementary in 2011, and the current plans for solar installations at Berkeley Arts Magnet, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks. Funding for the solar panels has come from a combination of local facilities bond money and grants.