The California Energy Commission will provide around $1.8m in loan to Pittsburg Unified School District for energy upgrades, a move that is expected to boost energy efficiency of nine Bay Area schools.

The loan is being provided under the Commission’s Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) program.

ECAA initiative backs the Commission’s efforts to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases, while increasing renewable sources of energy by supporting cost-effective energy efficiency projects.

The funding will be used to install a 150KW solar photovoltaic system at Marina Vista Elementary School, which will provide clean electricity that will be enough to power the energy needs in the region.

Meanwhile, Contra Costa County district will also retrofit interior and exterior lights at nine schools, by using energy efficient equipment.

Commenting on the initiative, Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller said, "Pittsburg Unified is the latest school district in California to embrace an energy efficient future.

"This project will save the district money by installing new energy saving equipment including lights that consume less energy, require less maintenance and increase visibility for students and teachers."

To date, the Energy Commission has awarded around 800 ECAA loans totaling $306m to local governments, public K-12 schools and hospitals, public care institutions and other agencies.