DHS Goes Green
Duxbury High School recently received a new environmentally-friendly addition; solar panels. The panels’ installation began in November of 2016 and only recently finished up in the first week of January 2017.
“We needed approvals from the School Committee and Town Meeting. The entire process from Request for Proposals to construction complete took about 18 months,” Special Projects and Energy Manager Barbara Bartlett explains.
She said that School Building Committee originally designed the school to be “solar panel ready” for this exact situation.
Bartlett described the benefits of solar panels as she said “Duxbury will receive benefits immediately. Instead of paying up front for the panels, and owning and maintaining them, the School Department put out a request for proposals (RFP) for companies to install and maintain the panels. The company then gets it’s money by charging the School Department a rate lower than Eversource for the electricity produced.”
Bartlett also explained that the school uses approximately 1,865,455 kwh in one year, which equates to $335,782 worth of energy. The panels are expected to produce 478,667 kwh each year – over 25% of the new building’s annual energy consumption. The school predicts the net savings to be $43,000 decrease annually, money that could be well spent.
The eco-friendly addition will not only be saving the school money, but also sparing the environment. “The panels will generate an estimated offset of the equivalent of 371 tons of greenhouse gases,” Bartlett said. That amount is equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gases roughly 61 cars would produce in a year, simply put, a big improvement.
On top of their efficiency and eco-friendly characteristics, the panels are expected to continually produce energy for at least 20 years, but it’s likely they will survive much longer.
Bartlett explained the specs of the solar panels, “The panels are made are LG 365. Tilt angle 10 deg, Azimuth angle 168 deg (South is 180 deg).”
Hopefully the money the School Department saves will be put towards a good cause, such as more efficient and eco-friendly hand dryers.