School Board discusses solar energy

School Board discusses solar energy

By: Chris Best

Enquirer Democrat Writer

The Carlinville School Board reviewed a proposed power purchase agreement (PPA) for potential solar array installations within the school district at their meeting Monday night.  Projections showed potential for nearly $60,000 in annual savings on energy with the installation of solar arrays at the Primary School, Intermediate School, Middle School and High School properties.

There were some safety discussions regarding the potential installation, such as what harm could occur if a student infiltrated one of these fenced off installations. According to Superintendent Becky Schuchman, the facility would be well secured by a tall fence topped with barbed wire to prevent injuries and protect the arrays, though there could be potential concerns if a student somehow scaled into and tampered with certain portions of the power facility.

Each total installation would require anywhere from 1.5 to 3 acres per property. The solar provider would be responsible for the upkeep of the arrays and the insurance costs associated with them. Another consideration discussed was the noise that could be generated by the transformers at these installations. Power providers have indicated that there would be a low humming associated with the transformers, though Schuchman indicated that this was something the District intended to investigate further.

“If we go ahead with this, this is going to be the number one story of the year for Carlinville,” said Board President Dan Kallal. “It’s a huge investment, it’s green; there are going to be people who like it and people who don’t like it.”

Read the full story in the 5-2-19 edition and e-edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.

New Carlinville Board of Education members Sam Harding (center left) and Dale Reels (center right) are sworn in alongside returning board members Martha Armour (far left) and Bobbi Bates (far right). Enquirer-Democrat photo by Chris Best.