Solar panels at seven public schools in Wayne are up and running.
A flat-screen television has been installed at the each school. Each one displays real-time information, including real-time solar energy consumption and how much the panels are reducing the school’s carbon footprint.
A panel at on Wednesday displayed that, up until that point, the panels had generated enough energy to power one home, or run one car, for a year.
“It’s a holistic view of how much energy were saving,” said John Maso, facilities director of the district.
The televisions also display how much carbon dioxide the panels have prevented from being generated, how much energy have generated, and are generating. Graphs indicating the amount of power the panels at each school have generated each day, week, month, and year are displayed. The data refreshes at regular intervals.
Maso said a link to the information being displayed on the televisions will be put on the Wayne Public School District Web site.
The solar panels could save the district $6 million in the next 15 years.
The district will buy the solar energy from Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, an independent solar power producer, through a 15-year power purchase agreement. The district will only pay for the clean solar energy the panels produce, not for the panels or any installation costs. The district will still have to pay for the power it uses that is generated by fossil fuels.
The panels are installed at Packanack, , Theunis Dey and , elementary schools two middle schools, and , and .
Maso said the district is also in the middle of an energy audit. An engineering firm is examining all school buildings to determine where and how the district can conserve energy. Windows, boilers, lights, are among those things being examined.
The audit is being financed by a state-grant and done at no cost to the district.