Oct 29, 2012 4:45 PM by Andy Koen

Work begins on solar gardens in School District 70

Construction has begun on a series solar power production systems at a handful of schools across District 70 in Pueblo County.

The district has signed agreements with local solar companies Solar MR and SolStore to buy the electricity generated from the panels at a reduced rate compared to current electrical utility costs. In return, the panels are being installed at no up-front cost to the district or taxpayers.

Once built, the solar systems will be owned and maintained by third party investors. Ryan Elarton, the Director of Business Services for D70 says each solar garden will save the district about $2,800 a year. Moreover, they will provide a hedge against future utility rate hikes.

The five 100 kilowatt solar gardens will provide electricity to Avondale Elementary School, Prairie Winds Elementary School, Pleasant View Middle School, Pueblo County High School and Liberty Point International School.

As part of the installation, kiosks will be placed inside each of the schools to allow students to view the electricity being produced.

Elarton also points out that because the project is not being paid for by the school district, it is not associated in any way the bond issue before voters in the upcoming election.


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