GREENWICH School officials are planning a solar project with SolarCity, which they estimate will save about $1.67 million in energy costs during the next two decades.
The company is planning to install a roughly 1,000-kilowatt ground-mounted array that will generate about 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of power during the first year.
Superintendent Mark Fish said SolarCity comes in and installs the system at its cost and handles the maintenance.
“We have some land behind the high school that would be hard to do anything else with and it would be a good location for these solar panels,” he said.
SolarCity has been awarded a contract by the state to work with schools as part of the K-Solar initiative. The district would purchase power from SolarCity at a rate of 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which is a savings of about 12 cents from the regular electricity rate. The district would save about $72,000 during the first year and about $1.67 million over the 18-year life of the contract, according to a fact sheet from the company.
SolarCity guarantees that the district would not pay more for energy than it would from a traditional provider.
Fish said it makes sense to explore solar, when factoring in the savings. It also teaches the students about taking care of the planet, he added.
In addition to installing the system and hooking it up to the grid, the company trains school staff in a hands-on curriculum to use with the solar energy system.
SolarCity is working with other local schools. The company is installing a 743-kilowatt ground-mounted array in a wooded area north of the Queensbury district’s transportation building on campus. Savings are estimated at about $1.2 million over the life of the contract for the district.