5 Mehlville schools have been equipped with solar power systems to provide a portion of their electricity demand, as well as serve as an educational tool for the students.
One of the schools is Beasley Elementary. At that school, 104 solar panels were installed. They have an electricity generation capacity of 25 kW (25,000 watts).
Beasley was equipped with a flat screen television that displays the electricity generation statistics of the solar system.
All of these solar systems are expected to save a combined $130,000 off the schools’ annual electricity costs. Each school’s electricity expenses are in the $100,000 range, totaling around $500,000 combined. While the savings amount is a fraction of their electricity bills, it’s not insignificant.
Superintendent Eric Knost is quite happy.
“This is not just a science experiment,” Knost said. “Years ago, we started to talk about solar power as a way to save some of the taxpayers’ money. That came first. Then, we saw a chance to use it as a curricular opportunity. The students can look at the monitor, see how much energy is produced and learn about it in science classes.”
The lease is set for 20 years, with the price set and disconnected from how much conventional energy costs might rise.
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