Indiana’s Hamilton Southeastern Schools is partnering with Ameresco, Inc. to bring renewable energy to the school district in the form of ground mount solar farms. Two solar arrays comprised of 4,800 panels will power three of the district’s schools. Ameresco has also provided Hamilton Southeastern Schools with two solar wagons and programming to incorporate sustainability education into its curriculum.
With construction already underway, Hamilton Southeastern Schools will finance this project with bond fees and operational cost savings generated from the solar arrays. Already the project has generated funds for the construction of a playground at the Riverside Intermediate School and is projected to generate additional funds to build two more in the district.
“Our partnership with Ameresco has already allowed us to invest in projects that directly benefit our students and create a more sustainable learning environment at our schools,” said Dr. Allen Bourff, Superintendent of Hamilton Southeastern Schools. “The curriculum Ameresco provided will help our teachers educate their students about the latest innovations in renewable energy technology and the importance of sustainability for the future of our environment.”
The solar panels at Sand Creek Elementary and Intermediate Schools have a projected annual output of 1,492,919 kWh and those at HSE Intermediate and Junior High with another 892,681 kWh. Combined, the arrays will generate enough energy to power 294 homes for a year and help avoid 1,687 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
“By taking steps to integrate solar power into its energy portfolio, Hamilton Southeastern Schools will provide more comfortable, cost efficient learning environments for its students and teaching staff,” said Lou Maltezos, Executive Vice President of Ameresco. “We are thrilled to be their partner in this endeavor and help them complete this project in a budget-neutral way.”
— Solar Builder magazine