Noblesville, IN. Noblesville Schools cut the ribbon today on their completed solar initiative, which is expected to generate nearly $8 million in energy savings over the next 30 years.

The solar panel fields, located near White River Elementary, Promise Road Elementary, Noblesville West Middle School and the district’s Transportation Center, will provide almost all of the energy used by those facilities, with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to approximately five million miles of vehicle traffic avoided.

The new initiative also brings a unique, real-world educational opportunity for Noblesville students, who will be able to observe and study energy use as an extension of their classroom learning.

“Solar energy gives us the opportunity to direct more funding to teachers and classrooms, and also better project our energy costs over the next decades,” said Dr. Dave Mundy, associate superintendent of Noblesville Schools. “Being able to save money, reduce environmental impacts and create student learning opportunities is a win for everyone in the community.”

With two million square feet under roof, 550 acres and more than 10,000 students to serve, energy is one of the district’s largest costs after teachers and support staff. Almost $1.5 million dollars a year are spent on energy expenses for lighting, heating and air, technology tools and more.

Performance Services was selected to design and install the fields and Duke Energy will be the electric utility provider.