Hollister School District saving thousands of dollars by using solar panels

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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HOLLISTER, Mo. (KY3) - The Hollister School District installed its first set of solar panels in 2019. Two years later, the school has seen some big savings.

Hollister Schools Communications Director Kim Connell says the solar panels were installed at the elementary school because it has the highest energy cost among all of its buildings.

After the rebate, the panels cost the school $150,000 to install.

“Already in two years we’ve seen a savings of $36,000,” said Connell.

Recently the school flipped the switch on its second set of solar panels.

”The second set of solar panels is located on the other side of the elementary building and those we strategically placed in our bus loop,” Connell said.

Connell says the panels now serve as shelters for students and staff.

”In the past, if it’s rained and they’re standing out in the rain waiting for the buses, or a really hot day 100 degrees, they’re standing out in the heat,” Connell said.

Fifth-grader Connor Shadwick says the solar panels have made his experience waiting for the bus much easier.

”They’re great really, before we had them the sun was always beating down at us punching us in the face basically,” said student Connor Shadwick.

Shadwick says when the weather was bad there was no protection either, but now that’s not an issue.

”For example, just the other day on Wednesday it was pouring, but we were under here and we were just fine. It’s hot today, and I’m under the awning and it’s not hot,” Shadwick said.

The school expects to see savings of about $1,500 a month from the second set of panels.

”Which will equal about $18,000 a year,” Connell said.

She says not only is the school saving money, but it’s helping the environment.

“It helps to conserve energy, and it’s great lessons for our students,” said Connell.

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