ST. LOUIS (KSDK) by Kevin Held – The School District of Clayton is installing eight solar panels on six building across the district Tuesday, a project that will save an estimated $651,000 over the next 20 years, while reducing its impact on the environment.
The Clayton Board of Education approved the 20-year lease proposal from Microgrind Solar, which includes a donation of panels for Wydown Middle School (WMS).
Superintendent Dr. Sharmon Wilkinson said the installation of the solar panels is a wonderful way for the district to reduce operating expenditures and limit the use of non-renewable energy sources, and she looks forward to the unique learning opportunity monitoring the solar panels daily will provide for students.
The 25-kilowatt array of panels will be installed on the roofs of the Administration Building, Facility Service Building, Family Center’s facility on Gay Avenue, Captain Elementary, WMS, and Clayton High School. Touch screen monitors will be installed with the solar arrays for students and staff to monitor the activity of the panels and the long-term impacts of using solar power.
The slanted roofs of Glenridge Elementary and Meramec Elementary cannot support a solar array system.
Utility savings across the district could range from $7,000 to $10,000 per year for the first few years of the lease and up to $34,000 in the last year. The donated solar array at WMS will equate to an estimated $40,000 in savings on lease payments over the course of the 20-year lease, in addition to approximately $53,000 in utility savings.
As part of its motion to approve the lease with Microgrind, the board also agreed to forward its recommendation to the Clayton Recreation, Sports and Wellness Commission to consider the installation of two solar arrays at the Center of Clayton. Installation of the solar panels on the six district buildings will take place this summer.
Source: KSDK Channel 5