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Going solar will cut energy costs at Saltus

Going green: from left, Tim Madeiros of AES Solar, students from Saltus Grammar School and the school’s deputy head, Jon Beard, show off one of the solar panels being installed. (Photograph supplied)

Saltus Grammar School is going solar in a mission to reduce energy costs and become more environmentally conscious.

This summer, the school will install 212 SunPower panels that will produce approximately 100,000 kilowatt hours per year and supply energy to the main building.

According to Tim Madeiros, whose company AES Solar is fitting the panels, permission is also in place to install another 66 if required.

“The plan is to monitor the energy production versus consumption and make a decision at a later stage whether to proceed with phase two,” Mr Madeiros said. “All commercial spaces with large roof areas that have installed solar have seen tremendous savings in operating costs.

“By controlling the costs to operate a business and taking the risk out of rising energy costs, a business is able to control unpredictable expenses and offer savings to clients.

Deputy head Jon Beard said the school needed to find a solution to its rising energy costs.

“Solar seemed to be a good option and so we researched the availability on the Island,” he added. “The main providers all have excellent products and give great service.

“We are hopeful that as we develop such energy-saving features it will be a way of helping to keep costs better managed.

“Also, very importantly, is the issue of being environmentally friendly. We keep on teaching the students about the need to care for the environment; this is one way of us showing that we are doing something about it.”

According to a statement from the school, if the cost of electricity is $0.45/kWh, it is expected that once the cost is paid off, the annual savings will be about $45,000.

Work will start once the building permit is issued and it is hoped the project will be completed by the end of July.