United School District entering solar agreement

The United District 304 School Board signaled their intent on Thursday night to enter a power purchase agreement for solar energy
Superintendent Jeff Whitsitt tells WGIL board members approved a letter of intent with Simpleray Solar, a company based in Fairfield, Iowa.

The intention is for Simpleray to install and maintain a solar array on school property with the district agreeing to buy energy from them.

It’s expected to save the district $50,000 in energy costs a year.

Whitsitt says the proposal was an easy sell to board members with the savings on energy costs, but he says many United students are cheering this initiative as a way of contributing to a healthy planet.

“Our kids are growing up in a different time. Green, renewable energy sources are big, and they’re on their mind, probably more so than even most of our constituents,” Whitsitt says.

The superintendent says there’s also an educational component that’s planned to compliment the solar panels.

He says the high school will have a kiosk connection to the building so students will be able to track things like the difference between sunny and cloudy days and how much power is being generated.