Federal Hocking Local Schools flipped the switch on its new solar energy installation that will provide about 700 kilowatts of renewable energy, making up about 70% of the school building’s energy use.
The district had 1,968 solar arrays installed on the roof of the building, which houses both the middle school and high school.
School administrators tout the project as a way to save money on electric bills, cut down on their carbon footprint, and teach students about the renewable energy industry.
Federal Hocking superintendent George Wood encourages more schools to take this route.
“You’re generating cheap, clean energy,” Wood says. “You’re getting an educational benefit from kids and you’re being a good steward of public resources. Seems to me it’s a win-win solution for everyone.”
Solar industry experts say these types of projects would be hampered and discouraged if lawmakers weaken the renewable energy standards, which has been proposed in the latest energy bill.
Opponents of the renewable energy standards argue that the resulting costs on ratepayer electric bills are too high and that the benefits of installing solar panels will continue to exist without the utility mandates.
A report from The Solar Foundation in 2018 found that 45 schools in Ohio had some type of solar installation. California ranked first in the study with 1,947 schools having solar installations.