Arizona Public Service (APS) recently finished installation of some solar panels at three different schools around Douglas.
Stevenson solar panels are doubled for cover parking. Solar panels will not only help cut cost at schools but also help the community. Trisha Maldonado/Douglas Dispatch
Under the APS Solar Program for Schools, APS designs, built and maintains a photovoltaic (PV) system at Douglas High School, Huber Middle School and Stevenson Elementary at no cost to the district.
Solar photovoltaics is growing rapidly, from a small base, to a total global capacity of 69 gigawatt at the end of 2011.The total power output of the world’s PV capacity run over a calendar year is equal to some 80 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. This is sufficient to cover the annual power supply needs of over 20 million households in the world. Solar photovoltaics is now, after hydro and wind power, the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity. More than 100 countries use solar PV. Installations may be ground-mounted or built into the roof or walls of a building.
The panels are not just energy sources at the three DUSD schools but also for the community of Douglas and are also being used as covered parking at the three schools.
The school district will receive a fixed rate for a portion of their energy usage for the next 20 years, based on the size of the system. As part of the program, the Douglas Unified School District will also receive a solar day lighting system free of charge, valued at $30,000; APS will provide educational kiosks and monitoring systems for the school with PV systems. The PV system gives the district a way to promote solar, educate students on renewable energy and insulate itself from increases in energy prices for the next 20 years.
According to Superintendent Sheila Rogers APS is looking at installing more PV systems at additional schools in the near future.
Rogers said this is a good thing for the DUSD that should be beneficial for years to come.