Flip-the-Switch Event for Solar Installation at Williams Elementary

Williams Elementary School and Solar Impact, Inc. will be hosting an official “Flip-the-Switch” event on Friday, November 30th at 12:45 p.m. This event highlights the Williams Elementary School solar installation and its benefits to the Alachua County Public School District, both financially and academically.

Media and the public are invited to hear from Principal Karla Hutchinson, Barry Jacobson of Solar Impact, and other educators about the impact of this solar installation on the curriculum, educational opportunities and the community as a whole.

The 154,800 watt Williams Elementary solar electric system is comprised of three individual projects. Local investors own the individual systems and rent the roof space from the school district. This system is in the GRU Solar Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program. As part of the program, all of the electricity produced by this system is sold back to the utility under a 20-year contract. The FIT rate for this project is $0.29/kWh.

One of the key goals of the solar project is the educational component. Solar Impact has donated a television display to the school so that students, teachers, parents and visitors can see how much electricity the system is producing. Teachers at each school can also use the solar panels as a teaching tool for students. At Williams Elementary, some of the solar panels are clearly visible, allowing for direct engagement with the students by the teachers and staff.

Williams Elementary is just one schools that make up the 1,230,000 watt public school solar project. Barry Jacobson, president of Solar Impact, explains that the public school solar project was structured to maximize the funds available to the public schools. “We saw this project as a chance to bring solar to the public schools while creating a much needed revenue stream for the schools.” In addition to the impact this project is making on the school system, it has also generated over $1 million in jobs for local contractors, electricians, roofers and general construction workers.

The project was made possible by the School Board of Alachua County, school district staff, the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Regional Utilities, the University of Florida Department of Environmental Health and Safety, and a key group of local investors who have a passion for improving their community.

For more information, please contact Don Ryan at Solar Impact at 352-338-8221 or don.ryan@solarimpact.com.


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