Solar energy coming to Carey School District

CAREY — Carey Exempted Village School District is working toward a solar energy project to be located on the school campus.

The district will be working with Eitri Foundry and Vaughn Industries on the project, which will be a 1.4-megawatt system of solar panels on 4 acres of land southeast of the district’s track.

According to Superintendent Mike Wank, the district will not have to pay any taxpayer dollars to the project. Wank said Eitri Foundry will work with a private financial investor, who will own the equipment and sell the energy to the district at a fixed rate.

The district will be paying a flat rate for electricity of 7.5 cents, which is lower than the current 8.6 cents. Wank said the savings could amount to half a million dollars for a 30-year period if the village’s rates do not increase.

In addition to the solar field, Wank said Eitri also would install pollinator-friendly plant species for ground cover. The company would work with Ohio State University Extension to integrate the program and use of scientific data collection on biodiversity.

“Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to look forward,” Wank said.

Wank said the panel would be in addition to the solar panel field the village of Carey operates and will be placed on the same power grid.

“This is a nice partnership and a nice project,” Wank said.

The project has been discussed by the board, Wank said, and they have been looking and considering ways to help save the district money.

“We want to really be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and good stewards overall by helping to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.

The ground breaking for the project is set for fall with potential benefits seen in either the spring or summer of 2020.

The students also will see benefits with learning opportunities and training opportunities in the renewable energy, electrical careers and project management.

“This project not only generates energy, but a love for the environment,” Wank said. “This will be a good example for our students and our community for the future.”