Beaverton School District unveils solar projects
By Lee van der Voo
Sustainable Business Oregon contributing writer
Springfield K-8 School in Beaverton now boasts a solar array in addition to school gardens. Click through the galery to see the solar installation at Elmonica Elementary School.
REC Solar and Kenyon Energy christened a three-system solar project at the Beaverton School District last week, commemorating the third occasion the companies have successfully collaborated with Northwest schools.
The companies have made it a goal to partner with public-sector and other entities, with Kenyon shouldering project costs to make solar projects a reality in the sector. The two have also teamed up with the Gladstone and Grants Pass school districts. In all three arrangements, Kenyon Energy served as project owner, developer and financier while REC Solar acted as the contractor, designing and building the project.
This latest installation is on track to save the Beaverton School District nearly $20,000 in annual energy costs. In its first year it produced over 300,000 kilowatts of power, enough to power 26 homes through the same time period. It has a total rated capacity of 299.3 kilowatts.
While Beaverton schools receive the energy, Kenyon earns Oregon and federal incentives and tax credits. The school district will have the opportunity to purchase the system in 15 years.
Richard Steinbrugge, Beaverton's executive administrator for facilities, said in a press release that the arrangement took the financial risk out of solar development and financing for the school district.
"The system provides, not only reliable clean energy, but also immediate financial savings that we can reinvest in our schools. Additionally, students can now learn first-hand about solar technologies…" he added.
Located on the roofs of three different facilities - Elmonica Elementary School, Springfield K-8 School and the Health and Science School - the solar installation will now be incorporated into the school district's curriculum. Through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation's Solar 4R Schools program, kiosks will be placed within the schools, allowing students real-time access to information about energy generation and emissions savings.
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