Students, staffers and any visitors of Smithtown High School West’s campus are now able to park under a clean energy solar parking structure. The solar carport, as it’s called, is described as a cost-effective way to generate power through cleaner energy for the district.
It’s also currently the largest solar carport system owned by a school district in New York State.
The project not only provides an environmental and educational benefit to students, but also decreases the district’s overall electricity bills, officials said.
“This is a popular option among the K-12 municipal industry as money saved from lower energy bills can be directly reallocated back into education,” said Kristian Ingebrigtsen, CEO of contractor Sunrise Power Solutions.
The new solar installation officially began producing electricity in May and the school district held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 9. Sunrise Power Solutions installed the system.
According to EPA calculations, this solar system will offset the greenhouse gas emissions from 416 passenger cars driven for one year or 2,124,073 pounds of coal burned.
According to Michael Volts, director of energy efficiency and renewables at PSEG Long Island, the energy produced by the system will balance out the entire energy usage at Smithtown High School West.
The excess energy credits will be used to offset the usage at 11 other district-owned buildings.
“PSEG Long Island commends the Smithtown School District for participating in this energy performance project, which will save the community money and help create a cleaner, healthier future for its students and all of Long Island,” Voltz said. “The more than 26,000 LED lighting fixtures and bulbs they installed will lower their energy usage, helping to reap the maximum benefits from the new solar carport systems and making them eligible to receive PSEG Long Island energy efficiency lighting rebates that lowered the cost of the project.”
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