Helios Bay Area

Solar Master Plan Report Button


"For many years, KyotoUSA has assisted West Contra Costa USD in managing our energy use. KyotoUSA also created several versions of a Solar Master Plan for the district, which we included in our updated Facilities Master Plan, and also used in the RFP we issued recently for solar on a number of our schools. Tom Kelly and his team are a pleasure to work with, and their enthusiasm and knowledge continue to propel our energy projects forward. I would recommend his team to any school district considering a future solar program."

- Julio Arroyo, former Energy Conservation Program Manager, West Contra Costa Unified School District

"I first contacted HELiOS in 2014, when I was a Junior at Benicia High School, as one of a team of students who were interested in pushing my district to install solar panels. Now, two years later, Tom Kelly and his team at HELiOS are continuing to serve as an indispensable guiding force for our initiative. They provided Benicia Unified School District with an in-depth Solar Master Plan, which the District has incorporated into its Facilities Master Plan. They have initiated several meetings with district officials, and met with us numerous times to help us prepare for presentations to the School Board.

Tom and his team at HELiOS are a spectacular group of people. Their organization embodies altruism, and their respect for the environment is unparalleled by any other group I’ve encountered. Without the HELiOS team’s guidance and wealth of knowledge, I doubt that the solar project would have progressed to its current point. If any school community member—regardless of age—is interested in catalyzing a school district’s transition to solar power, I highly recommend they contact Tom Kelly and his team."

- Aaron Feigelman, former Student, Benicia Unified School District

"KyotoUSA and Tom Kelly’s knowledge, technical expertise, and patience were indispensable in moving Novato Unified School District’s solar program through to successful fruition. Over several years and the development of multiple Solar Master Plans, Tom and his dedicated team were always willing and available to provide thoughtful and detailed analysis, informed advice, and professional presentations, and showed their support by attending several meetings with both NUSD Staff and the general public. The support, deep experience, and practical know-how provided by KyotoUSA was critical in helping NUSD realize the financial, environmental, and educational benefits of solar."

- Tim Blofeld, Parent and solar advocate, Novato Unified School District

"I was pleased to support KyotoUSA’s efforts in obtaining a technical assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop Solar Master Plans (SMP) for Berkeley, Oakland, and West Contra Costa Unified School Districts. The SMPs that were provided to the Districts at no cost have resulted in the development of solar projects at more than 20 schools in those 3 districts. The districts own the PV systems and receive all the economic and environmental benefits that the systems provide. If a school district is thinking about its energy consumption and potential for renewable energy generation, a district would be well served by contacting KyotoUSA."

- Loni Hancock, California State Senator, Senate District 9 (retired)

"It is not often that an offer of assistance and support comes without obligation or hidden agendas from outside organizations. Consequently, when I first met and received an offer of help from Tom Kelly and the people from KyotoUSA, I was skeptical. Let me say now, after a successful partnership that accomplished financial savings for the BerkeleySchool District, greater conservation of energy, and a better environment for our students, we owe them our profound appreciation and gratitude. There were no strings; just genuine assistance. They helped the district study various options, including financial assistance which ultimately enabled us to become an early participant in solar energy projects.

 Such projects are not without their frustrations or complexities, but Mr. Kelly and the staff of KyotoUSA were patient, professional and dedicated to purpose. Because of their commitment to a better ecology and their understanding of the role school systems can play, as well as the financial limitations, they are a genuine and willing resource of help. I recommend them with sincerity and believe school districts would be wise to seek their counsel."

- Michele Lawrence, Superintendent, Berkeley Unified School District (retired)

"I worked closely with Tom Kelly of KyotoUSA while at the West Contra Costa Unified School District.  As part of the district's overall facilities program, we started to consider options for renewable energy systems. Tom Kelly offered assistance to the district as an independent consultant, not tied to any company or vendor.  The results of Tom's work with WCCUSD speak for themselves. Tom coordinated a federal grant application and we were successful in receiving a Department of Energy grant to develop Solar Master Plans in coordination with Berkeley Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District.  Tom guided the three districts through the Solar Master Plan process, assisted us with the input of district facilities data in the EPA Portfolio Manager to allow for benchmarking of energy use at the schools, and coordinated technical resources to finalize plans for implementing renewable energy systems in district schools. Tom's group, KyotoUSA, offered these services as a part of their overall mission, at no cost to districts and with no requirement to purchase or pursue any systems."

- William (Bill) Savidge - former Engineering Officer West Contra Costa Unified School District and Assistant Executive Officer, State Allocation Board, California Department of General Services

:Tom Kelly and KyotoUSA have been key ingredients to our success when it comes to planning and implementing solar and other energy efficiency programs.  Tom and his team have been there every step of the way providing unbiased advice and perspectives.  We could not have done this on our own. No district or county office should jump into the solar arena without talking to Tom and KyotoUSA first.  Their expertise and helpfulness was first rate.  They have helped us create a program that will have a lasting legacy to our district and the communities we serve.  They have my highest recommendation!" 

- Brett W. McFadden, former Chief Business Officer, Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

"Tom Kelly and HELiOS were instrumental in creating a Solar Master Plan in Berkeley Unified School District, working effectively with our staff to secure planning and funding for our solar program. To date, Berkeley Unified has completed five solar projects, and has several more in planning phase. Tom has generously offered his time and expertise, without compensation, to Berkeley to help move our solar projects along." 

- John T. Selawsky - former School Board President, Berkeley Unified School District 

"Tom Kelly has been a catalyst for Berkeley Unified School District to evaluate its energy consumption and to consider alternate energy options. He assisted the District in the development of a Solar Master Plan that helped chart our long range alternative energy plan. I can highly recommend Mr. Kelly in helping a district independently develop its energy choices." 

- Lew Jones, former Director of Facilities, Berkeley Unified School District 

"KyotoUSA helped OaklandUnifiedSchool District map and identify our potential to generate solar energy.  The Solar Master Plan became an input to our Facilities Master Plan, which was revised in May 2012.  As Oakland moves forward with our capital program, we are able to integrate solar into our facilities, along with other priorities, as a result of the Solar Master Plan."

- Jody London, former member of the Board of Directors, Oakland Unified School District,  

"Tom Kelly generously donated his time and expertise and advised the San Ramon Valley Unified School District on the most cost-effective way to finance a solar installation and he helped the district obtain the funding it needed. After a thorough analysis, the superintendent and members of the board came to realize that the financing of the PV system that Tom had helped devise was so favorable that it would be more of a risk to NOT proceed with the project. Tom had no personal financial stake in any of the projects but was motivated by a genuine desire to help our CA public schools and the environment."

- Lisa Mason, Parent, San Ramon Valley Unified School District 

"Tom Kelly and KyotoUSA were integral to the successful launch of our district's solar project. The project was considered “dead on arrival” by most because we did not have the expertise and resources to make a compelling case for a renewable energy system. Tom provided real world examples of what does and does not work in the long run, including examples of many schools’ success strategies. Throughout the process, Tom was always available with a patient reality check of our ideas and presentations to be sure we were never making unrealistic projections. Tom also connected us with many great opportunities and resources. The bottom line is that without the generosity of Tom and KyotoUSA, we would not have the credibility or resources to start the project moving-- as a result, we are on our way to millions of dollars of savings in the unrestricted budget, when we need it most."

- Todd Johnson, Co-Chair, Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee to Culver City Unified School District