Solar, LED Lights Exceeding Savings Expectations at Covington Schools

Covington Independent Public Schools' energy savings after the installation of rooftop solar arrays are exceeding original projections, the district said in a news release.

Performance Services installed the solar arrays and converted the district's interior and exterior lights to LED high-efficiency lighting in October 2017.

At the time, the moves were projected to save Covington Schools an estimated $256,981 in annual energy costs.

The first annual report from the company is not due until September but some early numbers have been shared.

Electricity use at the district dropped by 27.2 percent while natural gas use was reduced by 13.2 percent, the district said. The combined solar arrays produced 490,202 kilowatt hours of energy equivalent to 86 percent of normal production even with sun exposure at 79 percent of normal weather conditions expected for the area. The solar project was made possible through a net metering agreement with Duke Energy.

“This is great news for our district,’’ said Covington Superintendent Alvin Garrison. “We are saving money and the project resulted in improved learning environments for our students.  It’s a win-win for Covington.”

Covington entered into the Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract with Performance Services after extensive research to find a highly qualified provider to design and implement the district energy efficiency and safety project, the district said.

The project meets the energy, efficiency, and safety needs of Covington’s Facility Plan.  It resulted in much-needed improvements to all buildings throughout the school district, including an improved learning environment for students, enhanced maintenance andoperations of facilities, and measured and verified energy savings, the district said.

-Staff report

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