That's right folks, kids on the Gerlach school campus in Nevada received what probably serves as the largest green Christmas gift in history. Receiving a 90KW solar system for their school that will be pumping out clean energy long after they've graduated, and quite possibly when their own kids show up to sing Christmas carols one day.
The panels themselves are actually expected to generate up to 162,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually for the next 25 years. With the total energy savings over that time period expected to surpass $480,000. And the approximately $20,000 per year savings will directly benefit the students and faculty at the school, according to the people running the very rural Washoe County School District which serves a grand total of 83 students grades PreK-12.
Make no mistake about it, that's a huge amount of money each year for such a small school district to put to good use.
And ultimately it's all a result of a unique partnership between the folks at Burning Man, MMA Renewable Ventures, Sierra Pacific Power, and Black Rock Solar. A relatively young non-profit who's founder Tom Price points out can turn every dollar donated into seven dollars worth of renewable energy.
So how is all of this physically and financially possible? Well, in the case of the Gerlach school they leveraged the fact that Nevada offers $5 per watt in rebates along with the knowledge that roughly half of the installation costs of your typical solar array go towards labor. By utilizing an incredibly generous team of volunteers to perform the installation they were able to literally install the system for zero cost after rebates.
And the best part is that there was zero out of pocket expense for the school district because the money was fronted by a grant from the SolarGenerations rebate program itself which is administered by Sierra Pacific.
Unfortunately, as Black Rock's Tom Price points out they can do solar on schools, community centers and hospitals cheap but they can't always do it free like they were able to pull off here. So donations are always welcome. And fortunately that $7 for $1 return on investment makes Black Rock a very tempting choice for a charitable donation this holiday season...
via:: Black Rock