Fun Facts

A total of 6,123 panels sit on 3 arrays which are located adjacent to the High School (2 arrays) and Middle School (1 array). The Panels are SolarWorld 245W model panels. The arrays feed energy produced into 3 Inverters located within the fencing of each array. The Inverters are 500KW, Satcon PVS-500 model inverters which convert the energy into the kind of electrical current which the school buildings can use.

The Panels are expected to generate just under 1.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy in their first year of operation. This will account for 80%-90% of Central Regional’s total electric for the year!

With a baseline of 1.8 million kWh produced per year, this translates into a reduction in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced of about 19,062,000 pounds each year!

Finance

The Solar Panel project cost about $10,000,000 to build. However, the School District paid $0 for the panels! This is because the project was financed through a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement. The contractor that won the low bid took all the risk in building the system. Now that they are built, Central Regional does not own the panels. However, Central will purchase all the energy that they produce at a rate that is well below what would be paid from the electric company. The District has an option to purchase the panels after 6 years of operation.

At the time the panels were installed, Central Regional was paying (on average) about 16.0 cents per kWh. In the first year of operation, the District will now pay 9.45 cents per kWh for its energy. This translates into a savings of more than 40%! Better yet, the price of electricity is locked in at a 3% increase each year for 15 years, meaning the District will not be susceptible to dramatic energy price increases for the foreseeable future. This is a tremendous benefit to the taxpayers of Central Regional.