Valley View School District 365U will soon be among a handful of school districts in Illinois that utilize solar panels to provide energy to their educational facilities.
VVSD’s Board of Education Monday night unanimously approved a $5.27 million project that will be funded through a lease arrangement that will more than pay for itself in utility cost savings right from the beginning. Officials estimate over $9.2 million in cost savings over the next 25 years.
Plans call for installation of solar panels on the roofs of Lukancic Middle School in Romeoville and four Bolingbrook schools, Jane Addams, Humphrey, B.J. Ward and Jamie McGee by late spring. The installations will take place in March and April (weather permitting).
The solar panels, which are extremely reliable and carry a 25-year guarantee, are compatible with the roof structure at all five schools.
When completed, the power generated through the solar panel arrays will provide more than half of the electricity usage in the five schools, including an estimated 72 percent at Ward and 70 percent at Humphrey.
“Thanks to Solar Renewable Energy Credits, the financial savings are amazing,” said Mike Lopez, VVSD’s Director of Facility Operations. “Plus, the educational opportunities these solar panels will present for our students and teachers are also significant.”
The only other school districts in Illinois utilizing solar energy currently are Libertyville, Lake Park and Grayslake.