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SOLAR

Darlington Community School District

In January of 2016 the Darlington Community School District completed the installation of a 156 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of their elementary-middle school (EMS) building.

The PV system provides power to the EMS and the adjacent high school. This project represents the largest solar project at a Wisconsin public school at the time. The system was expected to generate nearly 200,000 kWh of electricity per year, which was about 20% of the entire District’s current use. The District was excited about this creative solution to provide an educational platform for students, teachers, and the community to learn about renewable energy, and specifically, about solar energy. The new solar system has saved both usage (kWh) and demand (kW) charges. The District set up kiosks and a link on the District’s website home page that provides information on renewable energy produced, avoided CO2 emissions, and other elements. Students, teachers, and the community can observe power output on a continuous basis, noting daily patterns and the impact of cloud and snow cover. They can compare minute-to-minute to annual solar production relative to monthly and annual building electrical loads, and analyze cost savings.