Granville is your typical small American town. When college is in session, the population tops 5,000. Otherwise, the population is 3,200, with two schools – an elementary and an intermediate – besides the middle and high schools.
Recently, a school board cleared the path for solar panels on top of the middle and high school. The agreement allows the school district to buy fixed power at a cheaper rate for the next decade. That is, 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour as compared to the extant rate of 8.2 to 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour.
Good news for the school district, which – like other districts across the nation – is struggling with rising costs and falling revenues. The not-so-good news is the size of the system, which is likely to make only a small dent in the amount of power used by individual schools.
However, instead of seeing the cup as half empty, I think we who are solar advocates should reflect on the cup as half full, and see how such progress, even if by baby steps, can lead to a clean energy future.
In fact, it is just such baby steps that give other school districts, municipalities and even homeowners the courage and inspiration to move forward into a clean, solar energy future. I’m all for baby steps.
The solar panel installation will rely on a solar power purchase plan with SolarVision LLC of Westerville, which will build and operate the 70-watt solar panel systems, one on the roof of each school.