Grayslake, IL. Community Consolidated School District 46 will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, June 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Frederick School to begin the construction of a solar energy project that will bring clean, renewable energy to the District. Ground-mounted solar panels will be installed at Frederick and Prairieview Schools, and roof-mounted panels will be installed at Park Campus and Grayslake Middle School. In total, the four photovoltaic arrays will generate 2.4 megawatts of clean energy and provide 2,940,000 kilowatt hours of power to the grid. The project is expected to be complete in 2018.
CCSD 46 was looking for creative ways to lower operating costs and solar presented a perfect opportunity. Discussions around locations ensued with Performance Services, the company that installed solar arrays for the high school district and a competitive RFP was released for an energy savings performance contract. Performance contracting is a method of procurement that allows public entities to utilize an integrated design and delivery method to implement building efficiency improvements with performance guarantees.
Decreasing manufacturing costs coupled with increased productivity and SREC income have made solar a viable option for District 46. The District stands to potentially net $6.75 million over 30 years as well as capitalize on rebates offered by ComEd. The energy produced by the solar array is equivalent to the electricity needed to power an estimated 329 homes in a single year. The project will reduce greenhouse gases by 2,196 metric tons, equivalent to taking 470 cars off the road in a single year.
“This is a very exciting project for us. Not only will we address environmental needs and concerns, we will also be providing both a savings and a revenue source for future years in our district. An added bonus will be for our students—they will be able to analyze data in relationship to solar power and make predictions regarding energy and its effect on our environment,” said Ellen Correll, superintendent.