Colonial School District is one step closer to acquiring solar panels on the roofs of several schools, thanks to unanimous approval from the Whitemarsh Board of Supervisors following a hearing last week.

Dave Turner, chief operating officer of Tangent Energy Solutions of Kennett Square, explained the agreement his company and the school district entered into, including designing, building, operating and financing 700 kilowatts of solar power on two school buildings in the district

Once the solar panels are up and running, they would produce more than 825,000 kilowatt hours a year of renewable energy, Turner said.

The board heard testimony from Turner and approved a conditional use application for installation of the solar panels.

“The [carbon dioxide] this displaced could have been produced by 112 cars or 122 acres of pine trees in a year,” said Turner.“It has considerable educational benefits. We’ll have kiosks that review the operation of solar power and how it works. There will be a website kids and teachers can go to to see them.”Turner said the projects, proposed for Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and Colonial Elementary School, will save the district approximately $1.5 million over the course of a 20-year period.

Township Supervisor David Brooke made the motion to approve the conditional use application, and the other four supervisors concurred.

“This would be the largest solar installation in the township, and we’re very happy you came forward with that,” said board Supervisor Leslie Richards. “This is sustainable, renewable energy for the schools. We’re excited to see this through. It’s an interesting contract you have with the school district.”

source: montgomerynews