Solar Panels

The Washington School District is seeking RFPs (request for proposals) to install solar panels at the high school and middle school.

Proposals for a solar panel lease agreement are due by the end of the month, according to Shelley Kinder, district CFO.

Kinder said the district is partnering with the Meramec Valley School District in seeking the proposals. Meramec Valley is looking to install panels at six buildings.

The district is seeking a lease for a grid connected 25kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system installation.

According to bid specifications, terms of the lease should not require an upfront payment by either school district and should not exceed 20 years.

Vendors also must indicate if the lease can be paid on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.

Kinder said more school districts are installing solar panel systems to reduce energy costs. She noted the Parkway School District in St. Louis County has reported an annual savings of $100,000 through the use of solar panels.

“This is something we’ve talked about for some time and have checked on what other districts are doing,” she said, adding there is an opportunity now to take advantage of solar power rebates or credits.

Kinder said the solar panels would most likely be installed on the roof of the high school and middle school.

If big savings are realized, she said, the plan would be to install solar panels on other school buildings in the future.

“There are many different options on how to do a lease agreement, so we’re excited to see what kind of proposals come in,” she noted.

Kinder said about 16 vendors have expressed an interest in submitting a proposal.

She said a special board meeting may be called in early November to seek approval.