Solar panels helping New Lebanon schools save on energy costs

New Lebanon elementary and high schools had solar panels installed on their roofs to cut energy cost.
Caption
New Lebanon elementary and high schools had solar panels installed on their roofs to cut energy cost.

Credit: Solar Power & Light LLC

New Lebanon schools officials said the district has already seen utility savings after solar panels were installed in the fall on two school buildings in the district.

Solar panels were installed at Dixie Elementary and Dixie High School by Solar Power & Light and the green project is estimated to save the district between $70,000 to $100,000 over the next 25 years, the company said.

“I’m very happy to have the project completed. I think that just the benefit of it being less of a drain on our local power grid is extremely important of course. Every district likes to save money and put more of our district finances toward education,” said Superintendent Greg Williams.

The panels collect energy from the sun and is then converted into electricity that the schools can use to power their buildings. Williams said it accounts for about 30% of the energy the school buildings use.

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The partnership project was paid for by Solar Power & Light of Miamisburg. The district is only responsible for electricity costs.

“When I’m talking to a superintendent, I’m telling them that this is zero capital expense. They don’t have to buy any inventory of panels, they don’t buy the racking and they don’t have to pay for the service on it. We own that,” said Greg Akers, director of business development at Solar Power & Light.

The district and SP&L found each other through mutual interest. Williams said he had been researching energy saving tactics practiced in other districts like solar panels and wind turbines. “I started to look around a little bit and about the same time is when I happen to receive a phone call from SP&L and just came together that way,” he said.

New Lebanon elementary and high schools had solar panels installed on their roofs to cut energy cost.
Caption
New Lebanon elementary and high schools had solar panels installed on their roofs to cut energy cost.

Credit: Solar Power & Light LLC

Credit: Solar Power & Light LLC

The solar powered project presents both environmental and financial benefits for the district.

“First and foremost in working with our students about conserving energy and having green energy sources, it was very much the right message to students and the community regardless of district savings. Now, that it was accompanied by savings for the district in terms of our utility bills, that was a significant added benefit,” Williams said.

“In addition to saving on utility bills, the project was completed at no charge to the district and created opportunities for students.”

Work on the project started in March 2018 and was completed in September.