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Here Comes The Sun: Fairfield Weighs Solar Carports At Schools

This image shows how solar carports would look at Fairfield Warde High School. Photo Credit: Contributed
This image shows how solar carports would look at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The town could save at least $1.2 million and generate about two-thirds of the energy needed to run its high schools if it constructs solar carports at each of the two schools, according to a report by the Clean Energy Task Force.

The project, which the Board of Education will put to a vote in May, could be completed during the summer and ready for the 2017-18 school year.

The proposal would add 980 kilowatts of photovoltaic solar energy systems mounted on carport structures in the student parking lots at Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlow high schools.

In recent years, Fairfield has completed dozens of clean energy projects that have improved air quality, reduced dependence on unstable fuel supplies, enhanced the security of energy sources and provided long term savings.

To-date, clean energy projects have an annual energy cost savings of $2.4 million for the Town, according to the report.

There are already solar panels on the roofs of each high school, which provide about a third of their energy needs. The carport panels would double that to two thirds.

The town will save an estimated $60,000 per year in electricity costs, or $1.2 million over the 20-year life of the proposed contract with an outside vendor, Skyview Ventures.

Skyview would design, construct and operate the panels, with Fairfield agreeing to purchase the generated power at a rate that will be locked in for the next 20 years.

The solar carports will serve as a tangible learning tool for the high schools. AP Environmental

Science and AP Physics classes may benefit from the study of solar power production and low emissions vehicles, according to the report.

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