Spartan News: MCC first public school in Michigan with solar array.

October 14, 2020

Spartan News: MCC first public school in Michigan with solar array.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Mason County Central Public Schools unveiled its solar array Tuesday, Oct. 13. The school district recently entered into an agreement with Harvest Solar and Sunlarge Industries, which provided the approximate 285-kW ground-mount solar arrays at no cost to the school. 

The capital costs, installation and maintenance of the panels for the life of the 25 year agreement are the responsibilities of Sunlarge Industries Group and their contractors. Mason County Central’s commitment is to lease the land to Sunlarge and, in return, receive discounted electricity that will save the district an estimated $25,000 annually over the 25 years life of the panels.

“Mason County is home to one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world along with the Lakewinds Energy Park, which consists of 56 wind turbines in Riverton Township,” Superintendent Jeff Mount said. “It’s only fitting that Mason County Central now houses the first solar array of any public school in Michigan.” 

Mount, along with board of education members Gena Nelson and Becky Alway, Business Manager Kris Courtland-Willick, and IT Director Mike Baerwolf took a tour of the array with Ken Zebarah, Jr., director of sales for Harvest Solar, along with Dr. Sarode Pundaleeka, director of Sunlarge; Pundaleeka’s wife, Geta, was also at the tour. 

The two arrays will provide power to the high school and upper elementary. 

Zabarah said Sunlarge invested in the installation of the project and will receive grant funds. In return, the school will pay a reduced per kilowatt rate. Harvest Solar is paid for engineering and construction. 

Mount said the solar array will not only provide power to two buildings, it will also serve as an educational tool.
“I am a science teacher and I can see so many aspects of this array that can be used in the classroom,” Mount said. “We plan on utilizing this array as a teaching tool.” 

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central Schools in partnership with Mason County Press.

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This story is copyrighted © 2020, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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