Ogden School District Solar Panels Deliver Results; new buildings to get them | News, Sports, Jobs

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East Ridge Elementary in Ogden is shown in this 2022 photo, showing solar panels on top of the facility, which opened in August 2021. Data provided by the Ogden School District shows that panels on- above the Ben Lomond High School Athletic Facility helped the district save money in their first year in place, through November 2021.

Photo provided, Ogden School District

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Solar panels atop the Ben Lomond High School Athletic Center are pictured in this undated photo. Data from the Ogden School District shows the signs helped the district save money in their first year in place, through November 2021.

Photo provided, Ogden School District

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OGDEN — The Ogden School District is increasingly turning to renewable energy to power its facilities and save money.

The Ben Lomond High School Sports Center, which opened in December 2020, is equipped with solar panels and data from the first year of operation shows the change is paying off, according to district officials. Data the district recently analyzed shows that the electricity generated by the panels, located atop the new facility, offset nearly 97% of its electricity needs in its first year of operation, through November 2021. , exceeding the target of 92%.

“The system saved the district $10,000 in energy costs last summer, indicating that investing in solar power will more than pay for itself in the future,” the district said in a statement. a statement.

The placement of the panels represents the extension of an ongoing Ogden School District energy efficiency initiative that dates back to 2007. The Mound Fort High School Innovation Center, completed in 2019, was the district’s first facility equipped of solar panels and they were also placed on East Ridge Elementary, which opened last August. They are to be placed in Polk and Liberty Elementary Schools, which are under construction but will open later this year for the 2022-23 school year.

“Money is not the only advantage. We are also investing in our environment by creating new green energy and reducing our carbon footprint,” Darwin Smith, the district’s energy specialist, said in a statement.

District officials approved a policy in 2007 to increase energy efficiency efforts in district schools and facilities. An energy manager joined us and new guidelines were issued to promote energy savings in existing facilities. Additionally, district leaders are committed to integrating energy efficiency measures into new buildings.

In total, school officials estimate savings from various energy-saving efforts saved $15.3 million between June 2007 and December 2021.

“Whenever our school district undergoes major construction projects, we have kept sustainable energy at the forefront of our decision-making process,” said Luke Rasmussen, the district superintendent. Smith, he said, “has done an amazing job reducing energy costs and creating exciting projects that save energy and create long-term money savings that will ultimately result in a bigger budget. efficient, a healthier environment and something our community can be proud of.”

The solar panels at the various schools in Ogden are intended to offset the electricity needs of the facilities, but not to generate excess electricity that would be sold back to the grid.

“Cost is a major factor in this decision. Our design intent is to offset as much of our electricity costs without overgenerating or selling back to the grid,” said Jer Bates, district spokesperson. In elementary schools, the panels are supposed to offset 70-80% of electricity needs.

Initiatives that have contributed to energy savings include better tracking of energy usage to identify areas of waste and where usage can be reduced.


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