Troy Schools Getting Solar Paneling; Saving Millions

Troy Cronin Elementary School - Solar panels await installation/photo Jeanne Millsap

Going solar could save a local school district millions of dollars. Contractors have begun installing green, clean and sustainable rooftop solar panels at Troy Community School District 30-C schools. The project was approved by school board members in August as a cost-savings measure, as well as for environmental and educational purposes.

The panels are expected to provide 48 percent of the district’s electricity, with cost savings of an estimated $3.8 million over the next 20-30 years. The district received more than $1 million of renewable energy credits for the project, and the panels are warrantied for 25 years. Troy School District Superintendent Dr. Todd Koehl says partnering with Ameresco is good for students to learn solar data and how renewable energy works.

Teachers will use the ground-mounted panels as an opportunity to teach students about how solar energy is collected. Grade-appropriate activities will connect the students’ visual observations with information about solar technology.

Economically it makes sense to install solar panels due to its inexhaustible, clean resource. No air or water pollution. Plus No global warming pollution or risk of electricity price spikes. Troy School board president Mark Griglione says property taxes will not be affected.  Other districts that have taken the initiative so far include schools in Romeoville, Libertyville, Lake Park and Grayslake. Troy schools are located in Shorewood, Plainfield and Joliet.

The solar panels are being installed on six of the seven Troy schools, including the elementary schools Troy Craughwell, Troy Cronin, Troy Heritage Trail and Troy Hofer. William B. Orenic Intermediate and Troy Middle Schools will also receive them.

All six schools will be outfitted with solar panels by May 31st.

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