Summit School District schedules solar special meeting | SummitDaily.com

Summit School District schedules solar special meeting

Joe Moylan
jmoylan@summitdaily.com

The Summit School District Board of Education will host a special meeting Tuesday to discuss a draft settlement with Spear Point Energy and Syndicated Solar that includes the removal of the south solar array behind Summit Cove Elementary.

"We are committed to finding sustainable, cost-effective energy alternatives when they produce positive environmental and educational outcomes for students and communities," said board President Margaret Carlson in a news release. "We are working toward meeting these objectives and the concerns raised by the Summit Cove community regarding the local impact of the solar panel array.

"It's important that we reach an agreement with project partners that has the best financial return to the district, while still meeting construction and rebate deadlines for the overall project."

Those deadlines fall on Oct. 1, the release stated.

Following a rash of public criticism about the solar array project behind Summit Cove Elementary near the Soda Creek Open Space and Wetlands in Summit Cove, the school board last week voted unanimously to direct school district staff to work on a settlement with Spear Point Energy and Syndicated Solar.

Elements of the draft settlement require the district to make a one-time payment of $245,000 for the removal of the south array. Removal of the array will be funded by operating reserves accumulated in previous years, the release stated. The north array will not be constructed.

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The district also will make a $128,000 capital purchase for the array constructed at the Summit High School stadium. That array will provide 100 percent of the stadium's energy needs, the release stated, and is estimated to initially save the district $17,600 per year. The rate of return is estimated at 13.8 percent, with payback scheduled to take place around the year 2020.

The solar panels located on the roof of Summit Cove Elementary also will be purchased by the school district for $126,000. That system will provide an estimated 20 percent of the school's energy needs, saving about $7,900 per year with payback scheduled in 16 years.

Tuesday's special meeting is open to the public and will take place at 6 p.m. at the Summit School District's central office, 150 School Road in Frisco. The school board plans to provide an update about the proposed settlement, take public comment and then vote on the agreement.