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Governor Announces $2.75 Million Awarded in Recovery Act Funds for Solar Panels for School Program

Written By onci on Monday, January 17, 2011 | 5:28 PM

Here's a press release sent out by the Governor's Office:

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the awards to Idaho schools for the Solar Panels for Schools Program (SPSP) today.  Although $2,750,000 was earmarked from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for this competitive grant program, the Office of Energy Resources (OER) had almost $13 million in requests.  A total of 43 grant requests were received and nine grant awards were offered.  

The OER issued the Request for Proposal (RFP) on August 4, 2010, and the applications were due November 19.  OER utilized an independent oversight committee to provide guidance on the administration of the program. The committee consisted of individuals with expertise in a variety of areas that included electric utilities, education, grant administration, public buildings, as well as solar electric systems.  The oversight committee helped develop the RFP criteria and applied pre-established procedures to evaluate and select proposals for an award.  Awarded proposals were distributed within each of the Idaho Department of Education’s six state regions.  A list of projects that were funded can be found below.

“These projects will help public schools reduce energy operating costs and demonstrate environmental leadership for Idaho students,” Governor Otter said. “An additional benefit is that they will help encourage development of Idaho’s renewable energy resources.”

The grants will be used to purchase and install systems on schools around the state.  Projects range from 36 kilowatts (KW) to 100 KW in size and will generate electricity and revenue to reduce energy bills of the school districts through utility net-metered programs.  The solar electric systems are expected to operate for 30 or more years and will enhance the educational opportunities of the students for years to come.

Successful proposals were from schools that already had achieved a high level of energy efficiency, were situated and designed for easy adaptation to a large solar electric system, had a relatively high expected return on the investment, and showed a strong commitment to the project.

“While it is unfortunate that we were unable to fund all of the requests, these proposals lay the groundwork for future solar projects on schools as we continue to look for additional funding opportunities,” OER Administrator Paul Kjellander said.

School        City  Watts 
Sandpoint Charter High School                  Sandpoint 64,680
Genesee School (K-12)                       Genesee 47,530
Highland High School                                 Craigmont 39,000
Canyon Owyhee School Service Agency    Wilder 99,960
Whitney Elementary                                 Boise 99,960
Carey High School                                 Carey 42,770
Shoshone High School                                Shoshone 36,000
Harold B. Lee Elementary School             Dayton 39,000
Madison High School     Rexburg 86,000

More information about the state energy stimulus projects and the Office of Energy Resources is available at http://www.energy.idaho.gov/
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