Parkway Solar Panels Being Installed in August

August 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

The solar panel sitting in front of Parkway Northeast Middle School in Creve Coeur is about to get some company.

In May, the Parkway School Board voted unanimously to move forward with a plan to install solar panels at 33 buildings. Parkway students head back to class Tuesday and the installation of the solar panels is expected to take place over the next four to six months.

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Parkway is leasing the solar energy, or photovoltaic, system from Brightergy Solar Solutions for $72,300 a year, over 20 years. The panels will generate energy for electricity, according to the district.

“It will save the district $14,194 the first year and has no up-front installation cost,” Parkway School District Spokesperson Cathy Kelly tells Patch. She said savings could reach more than $1.4 million over the life of the contract which runs until 2033.

Cindy Bambini with Brightergy tells Patch the first school expected to receive the panels is Manchester’s Barretts Elementary School which is currently scheduled for an August 20 installation.

“Once it gets going it should go pretty fast,” Kelly said. The panels are going on all 28 schools plus other buildings, bringing the total to 33 district buildings.

Bambini said overall the district is installing 3,267 solar panels that will be used to help generate power all 33 buildings. They’re estimated to save as much energy as used by 1,243 light bulbs. She explains that the panels are not only making the school district more green, it’s also an environmental contribution by reducing carbon emissions.

As previously reported by Patch, the panels will provide 2.2 percent of the district’s total annual electric use.

Although Missouri does offer tax incentives for going green, Bambini said Parkway is not eligible for such breaks because it is a school district and they don’t pay taxes.

According to the district, the panels will also be used as an educational tool.

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