GOSHEN — Two Goshen schools can earn green for going green.
Waterford Elementary and Goshen High School have been accepted into a solar energy program that will earn the district money in exchange for hosting solar panels on the roofs of the building.
Solscient Energy, an Ohio-based solar energy firm, will lease unutilized roof space from the district at a cost of $4,000 per roof per year for 15 years. The district will also receive a one-time payment of $7,000 per roof upon completion of construction.
By leasing two school roofs to Solscient, the district would earn $134,000 over 15 years. It is a relatively small amount, but the solar panels — which protect the roof from UV damage and add shade to lessen the burden on air conditioners — could provide cost savings for the district as well.
Solscient then sells the harvested energy to NIPSCO through its Rate 665program, which provides incentives to utility customers to build or host solar arrays and sell the electricity back to the company.
Although the Goshen School Board has yet to enter into a contract with Solscient for the construction and lease, members appeared enthusiastic about the opportunity.
Representatives from Solscient Energy originally presented the idea to the Goshen School Board at its June 22 meeting. Members were pleased then to learn about the educational opportunities that the solar panels would provide. The panels come with an online monitoring system that students could access, which would give them a picture of how much energy is being harvested.