Herkimer Central School District and SunVest Solar Inc. are exploring the possibility of bringing solar energy to the district. The project would enhance the district’s commitment to sustainable, energy-efficient solutions.
About the Company
SunVest Solar, based in Wisconsin, is a national developer that has worked on more than 600 commercial, residential and public solar projects, including public and private schools and universities.
SunVest reports saving customers more than $1 million per year through projects that produce approximately 16 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually.
Read more about SunVest at http://sunvest.com
About the Partnership
If a proposal is approved by voters and the Herkimer Central School Board of Education, the district could enter into a partnership with SunVest to host a solar energy installation.
The solar arrays would be owned and maintained by SunVest, on school district property, allowing the district to buy electricity at a potential savings of $0.01 to $0.015 per kilowatt-hour produced.
Included in the partnership would be a community array, which would allow district residents to purchase power at the discounted rate.
About the Proposals
SunVest has presented Herkimer CSD with three possible approaches to introduce solar energy to the district.
1. ROOFTOP ARRAYS
- Solar cells mounted on rooftops of both school buildings
- Slightly larger array at high school
Rooftop pros and cons
- More common
- Easier, faster installation
- Size, condition of roof may limit options
2. SMALL GROUND ARRAYS
- Small solar arrays near both school buildings
- Sites to be determined
3. SINGLE GROUND ARRAY
- Single ground array on five-acre site near Herkimer Elementary School
- Array would be sited behind the school bus garage
Ground array pros and cons:
- Easier to access for maintenance
- May have higher cost than rooftop mount
- More options for siting
District residents were invited to complete an anonymous survey about solar energy and the proposed solar projects described below.