Clearview Solar Panels are Operational
Solar cells are currently converting sunlight to electricity without any moving parts, noise, pollution, radiation, or maintenance. The conversion of sunlight into electricity is made possible with the special properties of semiconducting materials. The solar panels have no moving parts and do not require any special annual maintenance. The monitoring system will constantly check for problems, and if any occur, it will notify the designated individuals when a problem arises. Solar panels typically have a 25-year warranty on them and an expected life of at least 35 years.
A kiosk has been installed at the Middle School. The kiosk, as well as the accompanying website, will provide teachers in the areas of science and technology with opportunities to access real time data. This data will be used in the classroom to make learning more relevant and to foster key understandings. The website will also enable teachers to address many of the key elements of the new NJ State Science Standards such as: having students interact with authentic data obtained and represented in a variety of forms, providing students with access to a large database, and giving students the opportunity to remotely access scientific instruments such as the weather station located on the Middle School gym roof. The teachers are very excited about exploring all of the possibilities that access to the information provided through the kiosk and website affords them as they strive to provide their students with the best possible education in science and technology.
School Districts can receive a package of incentives that can make a solar project very attractive. In Clearview’s case, the project will be completed at no cost to the taxpayers. An explanation of the project costs, local/state split of costs and incentives follows:
CORE Rebate. Clearview Regional was one of only a handful of school district’s awarded a Customer On-Site Renewable Energy (CORE) Rebate. The amount of the rebate is significant - $417,170. This is a one-time only offer as the CORE Rebate program is no longer in effect for school districts.
SREC (Solar Renewal Energy) Certificates. One Certificate is issued per MWH of Solar Electricity Produced. Certificates are traded on the open market. SRECs ultimately are purchased by the Power Generators (utility companies) to offset their requirement to produce Clean Energy.Current rules guarantee that SREC’s will be available for at least 15 years. SREC values are conservatively estimated at $400 per megawatt/hour. Recent values have been as high as $675/MWH. Recent rule proposals will encourage power companies to secure the price of SREC’s.
Debt Service Aid. This is paid to a district if it incurs debt to fund a capital project. This requires a school district to conduct a referendum. Clearview has a relatively high level of Debt Service Aid - 50.92% - which means that the state pays for more than half of a project (principal and interest) that Clearview undertakes, subject to passage of the referendum. This is to be paid annually over the 15 year term of the bond. It is received annually on due date of principal and interest. The first payment is not due until after July of 2010