Following a request for proposals process, the Board of Trustees recently voted to approve a contract with Alta Pro Electric Ltd. to install a solar panel system on the roof of West Haven Public School in Leduc this summer.
The Division has been approved for an estimated $235,000 in grant funding from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) Solar for Schools Program. The Municipal Climate Action Centre is a partnership of Alberta Municipalities, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and the Government of Alberta.
The grant funding is based on a rebate per watt of total installed capacity, up to 50 per cent of eligible expenses. The Board has approved using up to $280,000 in capital reserves to cover the remaining costs.
“Black Gold School Division is excited to be approved for funding through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre Solar for Schools program,” said Associate Superintendent Chelsey Volkman. “With the ongoing increases in utility rates, we believe that this is a prudent investment that will significantly reduce operating costs for the school division in the years to come.”
“We are proud to support Black Gold School Division and their installation of their new solar photovoltaic system on the West Haven Public School,” said Trina Innes, Executive Director at the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. “Not only will this system generate electricity, reduce operating costs, and greenhouse gas emissions, it will provide an excellent learning opportunity for its students.”
Once completed, the 251 kilowatt solar-powered system will provide the school with a dependable source of unlimited energy and help reduce the school’s carbon footprint by offsetting approximately 75 percent of the school’s energy consumption annually.
There is also an education component to the project. “Our teachers will be able to use the solar project as a learning tool to explore concepts such as climate science, renewable resources, and sustainability,” said West Haven Public School Principal Ray Cable. “Having the solar panel data displayed on the monitors in the school will provide students with real-time information on power usage.”