shortcut to content

Stillwater Central School District mastheadStillwater high school building entrance

bottom masthead edge
September 22, 2017
shadow spacer

Stillwater News

Stillwater schools go solar to save money, reduce carbon footprint

Solar panels on high school roof
Solar panels were installed on a section of the high school roof, over the new gymnasium.

Solar panels on elementary school roof
Solar panels on the elementary school roof.

Jan. 27, 2014 - Going “green” is expected to save Stillwater schools “bundles of green” over the next two decades.

Stillwater entered into an agreement with Monolith Solar Associates last summer to install solar panels on the roofs at the elementary school, the high school new gym, the middle school cafeteria and the bus garage.

The solar panels are projected to cook-up a savings of about $10,000 in the first year, and $200,000 over the life of the 20-year agreement, according to estimates.

That’s because the panels were paid for and installed by Monolith, which in turn sells the electricity produced through the systems to the district at a locked-in, discounted rate. Specifically, the district receives a 30 percent discount from the current kilowatt price paid and remits to Monolith whatever the sun and panels produce. The remaining electricity is purchased by Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) on a cooperative basis, at a reduced rate.

“The district has taken several initiatives to manage its energy usage and cost,” said Business Manager Mark Methe. “This is why the district’s energy budget continues to decrease in spite of the new additions.”

There is also an educational component to the plan. Monolith is expected to create a demonstration model that can be used as a teaching tool. Students will be able to see detailing of all of the working electrical components involved on the ground level.

“This is really a win-win for the district and taxpayers, as well as the students,” Superintendent of Schools Stanley Maziejka adds. “The district has worked hard to research this energy-saving option, and we’re proud of the added benefit of educating students about renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”

Additional energy savings

In addition to the savings the district will realize with solar panels, Stillwater has also taken advantage of an energy efficiency incentive through New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) to provide better quality lighting at a reduced cost.

The 400 watt halogen lights in the middle school gym (near business office in the high school) were recently replaced with new T5 fixtures which provide better lighting and are more energy efficient. The old middle school gym (across from the auditorium) had T12 lights, which are no longer in production, so they were replaced with more efficient T8 lights.

NYSEG paid approximately 50 percent of the cost of the lighting upgrades, and the district expects the remainder of the cost will be realized in less than two years with the cost savings.

shadow spacer
mission statement type
This page is maintained according to Stillwater Central School District Web publishing regulations. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. Contact Samantha Tibbitts, Webmaster, for site related questions or use our Feedback form.