By Ian Hanigan
IUSD has reached another milestone in its ongoing drive to offset energy costs with solar power.
Last week, it was announced that solar installations at three schools have been completed, capping the second phase of the ambitious district-wide initiative.
Vehicle shade structures topped with solar tiles are now producing electricity at Stonegate and Woodbury elementary schools, as well as University High School. And with that, IUSD now powers 22 sites with the help of photovoltaic systems, which will help the district avoid $5 million to $8 million in utility costs over the next 20 years.
“We accomplished this with zero up-front costs and zero maintenance costs through a power-purchase agreement with SunEdison,” says Mark Sontag, IUSD’s director of math, science and career technical education. “That extra budget means more resources for our teachers and students.”
Since 2010, IUSD has authorized the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of more than a dozen schools, and vehicle shade structures capable of harnessing the sun’s rays have been constructed in the parking lots of 11 sites, including the District Office and the Maintenance and Operations center.
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