Things are about to get brighter at a few lucky schools across the state.

Nine Idaho schools found out today they will be receiving solar panels.

Whitney Elementary School in Boise will be partially powered with solar energy by the summer of 2011.

It’s all part of the Solar Panels for Schools program.

Gov. Butch Otter announced the program would receive $2.75 million to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels. The money comes from federal stimulus dollars received two years ago.

The Office of Energy Resources received almost $13 million in requests.  A committee was formed, and 43 grant request were narrowed down to just nine schools.

Administrator Paul Kjellander is excited to start the installation and hopes it will save schools money.

“It’s great to have good news and I think it’s ultimately even better for those schools, they tend to help reduce some of their energy costs,” said Kjellander.

The Office of Energy Resources hopes to use the data collected from the schools to see how solar panels may be used in other commercial buildings.

The committee that decided on the grants consisted of individuals with expertise in a variety of areas that included electric utilities, education, grant administration, public buildings, as well as solar electric systems.

source: ktvb