Here comes the sun to Sleepy Eye: board approves Solar for Schools

Solar arrays are being installed at or on schools nationwide, including this school in Georgia. Through the Minnesota’s Solar for Schools program, Sleepy Eye schools will be generating clean renewable energy when arrays are installed. (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District via Creative Commons)

SLEEPY EYE — After tabling the topic for clarification, the Sleepy Eye School Board approved a Solar for Schools solar array purchase, facility lease and power purchase agreements Wednesday.

Superintendent John Cselovszki said contracts with Ideal Energies Inc. of Minneapolis that are part of the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Solar for Schools Program included separate agreements for the high school and elementary school.

“Everything is as it should be now,” Cselovszki said. “Agreements were reviewed by city of Sleepy Eye staff and Tim Harbo, our maintenance consultant.”

Earlier this year, Cselovszki told the board that the district was awarded two Solar of Schools grants for a solar power project that could save district taxpayers about 20%, or $7,579 a year, for 20 years until the project is paid for and is owned by the school district.

The Solar for Schools program includes Ideal Energies helping the school monitor electrical usage, production and dispatching field service if needed.

Sleepy Eye schools will be funded to install solar arrays though grants from the state’s Solar for Schools program to reduce engergy costs to district taxpayers and provide real-time renewable energy education to students. (Photo by OregonDOT via Creative Commons)

Program benefits include awarding schools up to $114,000 (25-95% of project costs) to buy and install a solar energy system on the school rooftop or grounds.

Other benefits include site specific learning opportunities offering students real-time solar power learning, providing clean energy and local jobs.

Other schools in line for the first round of Solar for Schools grants include districts in Redwood Area, Marshall, St. James, St. Peter, Windom and Fairmont.

The board also approved the school district’s 2022-23 budget totalling $8,077,393 in expenditures.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)


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