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Parkway Schools solar Installations now happening near you!

Learn all about the individual Parkway School school solar installations. See a slide show of an actual install on Forsyth School taken over the two week installation process.

Solar installations are popping up everywhere in the Parkway School District.

What?  You say you haven’t noticed?

Well maybe that is because most of the work is happening on the predominately flat roofs that make up most of the 33 Parkway School District buildings.  It’s much harder to witness solar installation progress on a flat roof than it is on an angled roof….in fact, many miss it all together. 

This was not the case with Brightergy’s installation at Forsyth School in the Clayton area.  The system there was installed on the angled roof of the school’s Rand Center (the gymnasium.)  For those of you who are not familiar with Forsyth, the school is made up of five historic houses with a 6th under renovation that have been cleverly and conveniently merged with newer facilities.  The good news about this set up, for us, is that Forsyth’s solar array was installed on the southern roof of the Rand Center directly outside of the 3rd grade classroom window. 

Realizing that the school’s unique set up created a very interesting opportunity, Susan Zareh, 6th grade math teacher at Forsyth (and also wife of Eric Zareh, 7th grade science teacher at Parkway Central Middle School), decided to take a picture each morning and each afternoon during the 2 week installation of their solar array.  The result is a great slide show that shows the daily detail necessary for the installation of a solar array.  Think of it as a slow motion time-lapsed camera!

Before you watch – here are some details that will help you put the array in perspective.  Remember this is very close to the same sized array that is going on the roof of every Parkway School:

  • The installation of the solar array took less than two weeks to install.
  • The array is 25.775 kW and will produce close to 39,600 kWh of electricity per year. 
  • The clean power benefits from this installation will prevent the release of 60,200 tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.  This is the environmental equivalent of 700 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • This array takes up about 2,500 square feet of the Rand Center roof and was created using 105 solar panels.   These panels are about 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall. 
  • Now complete, the students in the school can access the array via an online monitoring system to see at any time how much power is being produced.  The data can be exported for use in classroom exercises and projects.
  • A portion of the solar array at Forsyth was funded by donut sales at the school. 
  • On flat roofed schools (like Parkway) the solar array installations are “self-ballasted” meaning the racking that holds the panels is weighted down with concrete blocks and not really attached to the roof.  This system will withstand up to a 90 mph wind (which is hurricane speed.)

The majority of the system at Forsyth and all 33 systems for the Parkway Schools (in total) were installed via Brightergy’s innovative BrighterLease program.  This no upfront cost program offers a great entry point to solar that is cash flow positive in the first month.     A limited number of BrighterLeases are available for non-taxable entities, like schools and churches for 2013.  If your school, church or non-profit is interested, please send me an email:  cindy.bambini@brightergy.com

Enjoy the show!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sensible? I think so November 24, 2012 at 03:38 PM
The $1.4 million is the lease cost to Parkway, not the construction cost. According to the source below, Parkway gets a 10 percent discount for paying up front. Not a bad move, I think, with interest rates where they are. "officials considered it a zero-sum measure." The savings figure is just an estimate, of course. Maybe Parkway will lose money on it, maybe they'll save. Given the expected zero sum at this point, I think it was a good move to take the risk. http://townandcountry-manchester.patch.com/articles/parkway-schools-ok-rooftop-solar-panels-for-electricity
Cindy Bambini November 27, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Scott, I'm not sure where you are getting your information but the cost to construct for Parkway is $0. Please contact me so we can discuss. Or I am happy to give you a contact at the district who will confirm the same. It's very important that the correct information is out there. Cindy
Cindy Bambini November 27, 2012 at 08:13 PM
This second comment is correct. I'm sorry i didn't read it before I commented on Scott's post.
PaulRevere December 01, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Like the old "fram" commercial said--"you can pay me now or pay me later". Solar power cannot be justified in any "passion" without GOVERNMENT SUPPORT. We ALL are paying for Parkway's Zero cost power. That includes every non-resident Federal taxpayer. I would ask Cindy--How much Ameren-or Federal Grant money does Brightergy get for each $1mil project? That , folks is the hidden cost to ALL AMERICANS. Who owns Brightergy? I'll bet they are "Passionate" Democrats. When I get the time , I'll look up how much those Brightergy Execs are paid from our tax-dollars. What a country. Start a business, get taxpayer funds to sell a non-affordable consumer product to Taxpayer supported schools. Thank GOD for the 10% discount. I wonder if Brightergy would be around in 20 years?. If not, who maintains- at what cost? I wonder what the cost to replace the system will be in 20 years. Cindy cannot answer these questions with any certainty. Our public schools should not obligate district residents to 20 year trial programs of the Government. That is exactly what this is. IT IS NOT FREE.
Sensible? I think so December 02, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Mr. Revere, I look forward to your update after you've done your research. Brightergy is privately held so their financials might not be available. They are based in Kansas City, MO. I'm glad to see that Parkway is supporting a Missouri business. For those who aren't familiar with PaulRevere's antics: PaulRevere does not want a dime spent on public education, yet he's happy to take tax funds for private school vouchers. And to show where his priorities lie: "Tobacco use is a lifestyle cost for society." He really did say that. That cost includes $96 billion (annual, 2010) in direct medical costs due to cigarette smoking, plus $97 billion in lost productivity, etc. And for those who want to learn more about energy subsidies in the U.S.: http://www.greenadvisor.com/consumer/let%E2%80%99s-talk-about-u-s-solar-subsidies-in-context/ Two notable quotes: "6 times more subsidies for fossil fuel production versus renewables" "let's face it, $72.5 billion is a LOT of money for an industry [fossil fuel production] that doesn't exactly need start-up capital any more." And, fossil fuels are bad for the environment, from production through use. Mr. Revere, should subsidies to oil companies be terminated?

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