Net-zero building – school shows opportunities for energy costs reduction

Schools are among the largest energy consumers in a municipality. In order to create a pleasant learning atmosphere, electricity is needed for classrooms, gymnasiums, and much more. The costs are correspondingly high, but can be significantly reduced when creative solutions using solar technology are applied, as in the example of this forward looking strategy.

In Sheridan, Indiana, the Sheridan Community Schools were given particularly attention for their electricity consumption, because the annual cost of electricity has soared to over $ 290,000 and should rise by up to 7 percent in the coming years. But with the installation of 5,900 solar collectors on the school grounds, the electricity bill could be significantly reduced.

Also, seven DEGERtrackers D60H with 175 solar modules and an installed capacity of 54.52 kWp generate solar energy every day. With the installation of additional fixed solar systems and rooftop systems, around 960,260 kWh solar energy are produced and fed into the public grid every year. By selling the generated electricity, the school covers the costs of the institutions consumed electricity and is a net-zero energy building.

Instead of suffering the forecasted increases in electricity costs, the School took out a loan to finance the project. This fixes the costs over the term of the loan, and the recovered costs are fed back to the budget to pay for extra school programs.

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