Carson City elementary school going solar

An array of solar panels planned for Mark Twain Elementary School could save the school district $15- to- $20,000 annually, Mark Korinek told the Carson City School Board on Tuesday.

Korinek, the district’s director of operations, said the school is in final talks with NV Energy and the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to be part of the Low Income Solar Energy Pilot Program. The program provides photovoltaic array systems at no cost to homeless shelters, low-income housing and Title 1 Schools.

“Mark Twain is the best site because of the space,” Korinek said. “It’s actually one of the most expensive schools to run.”

Korinek said officials are scheduled to walk the site in two weeks to plan the 125 kilowatt project. He said it will likely be constructed in the northeast corner of the campus, on what used to be a softball field. He said the district will get approval from the city if necessary and talk to area residents.

“Obviously, we would want to reach out to our neighbors and talk to them about what we’re doing,” he said.

“We would want to try to keep them below the fence line so they don’t obstruct the view. I think we can do that.”

He said the photovoltaic array would also be used as a teaching tool for students, tracking energy use.

“The kids could understand carbon footprint,” he said.

“They could see how much energy we’re saving. How many trees we’re saving.”

Korinek said new boiler and heat pumps are also planned at Mark Twain, which he estimated would save an additional 20 percent off of the school’s typical $70,000 yearly energy bill.

He said the solar arrays should be installed by the first of January.


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