Schools

North selects company for solar panels at 2 schools

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LINDEN — North Montgomery Community School Corp. has selected a company to install solar panels at Lester B. Sommer and Pleasant Hill Elementary.

Carmel-based Performance Services will be the qualified provider for the $1.96 million project following approval by the school board Monday. The project will generate just under $60,000 in energy savings for both schools after the first year, with a combined savings of nearly $4.33 million over 30 years.

The company has installed solar panels at schools including Delphi, Fayette County and Michigan City and performed guaranteed energy savings projects at numerous other school districts, including Crawfordsville.

“We actually have panels in-house stored, so we’re ready to go,” said Ryan Stout, the company’s national solar developer.

The two systems will be identical, generating similar energy savings and providing a STEM curriculum for students. Performance Services’ approval is contingent upon an energy agreement with Duke Energy and a final site analysis.

Under the arrangement, the district will own the panels, which carries a 25-year power production warranty. The company guarantees the power generated.

“If it’s not producing the 366 kilowatts [of energy], then we’ve got to make sure it does. We’ve never had that happen,” Steve Thoman, Performance Services’ business development manager, said.

There will be a screen for the system at Pleasant Hill blocking the view from nearby houses on the north side.

The board is expected to consider the financing of the project in January. Two local banks have expressed interest, said Jim McBee, the district’s business and transportation director.

In other business, the board selected Indianapolis-based Patterson Horth as the construction management company for the restroom renovation and asbestos abatement projects at North Montgomery High School. The bidding process will now begin.

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