Wednesday, January 19, 2011

School district gets solar energy grant

Economic stimulus money earmarked for Carey School

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County School District has been awarded a $250,000 grant to install solar panels for generating electricity at the Carey high school building.

Award of the grant was announced Friday by the Idaho Office of Energy Resources. The school district applied for the grant last fall after the Office of Energy Resources announced it had $2.75 million available for solar energy development for schools throughout the state.

The grant program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the "economic stimulus."

According to a news release from the Office of Energy Resources, the grant to the school district was one of only nine awarded from 43 grant applications.

The news release states that "successful proposals were from schools that already had achieved a high level of energy efficiency, were situated and designed for easy adaptation to a large solar electric system, had a relatively high expected return on the investment and showed a strong commitment to the project."

The Carey School solar panel project is designed to generate 42,770 watts of electricity, which will help save costs of purchasing power.

District Business Manager Mike Chatterton said installation of the solar panels and electrical generator will begin in early June at the same time geothermal resource development work is started at the school.

Terry Smith:

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