FAIR HAVEN — The Slate Valley Unified Union School District partnered with a solar company to provide 80% of the district’s energy needs.
MHG Solar planned to build solar panels on slate quarries in Pawlet and Poultney. The developers said they seek out industrial land and places like former slate quarries for their projects, as these areas aren’t used for much else and are fairly out of sight.
The district announced that not only would the projects help with energy costs, would provide a learning opportunity for students.
It was projected that the district could save $15,000 per year in energy costs, and $450,000 over the life of the projects. The arrays would produce an estimated 1,200,000 kilowatts per year, enough to power about 150 to 170 homes.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with MHG Solar as it has environmental, financial and, most importantly, educational benefits for our students within the district,” Slate Valley Superintendent Brooke Olsen-Farrell said in September. “It appears to be a win-win for everyone involved.”
Other schools have explored such solar partnerships. The Herald reported earlier this year that Castleton University and Rutland City Public Schools are looking at solar, as is Mill River Unified Union School District.
— Keith Whitcomb, Jr.