Solar makes every sunny day good news for the school district

Solar panel installation is in progress at Lake Havasu High School and the Lake Havasu Unified district office. Covered parking structures have been erected with the solar panels installed on top, similar to what you see at the Lake Havasu City Aquatic Center. This is being done under a lease/purchase agreement and is cost neutral to the school district. Money saved on utility bills for the two sites will be used to pay for the project. The payments are roughly equal to the current electric bill for the affected areas. Electric rates may rise, but our payments are fixed and will stay the same for 15 years. After 15 years, project costs will have been repaid and the school district will own the panels and the electricity they produce.

Photo: Solar panel install at Lake Havasu Unified District Office. Article continues below.

Sue Nancy Blythe wins Golden Apple.

The electric bill is Lake Havasu Unified's second largest maintenance and operations expense. (Salaries and benefits are the largest.) Conservation efforts, like using more efficient light bulbs and turning off lights, can only go so far. In 2008, district director of business services Missy Wood started looking for a way to bring solar power to the district without spending any money beyond what we were already paying for electricity. The current solar project is the result.

  • Total project cost: $1.5 million repaid with interest over 15 years.
  • Project is cost neutral. Money saved on electric bill will be used to pay for the project. It only costs what we were already spending for electricity.
  • Project hires local workers.
  • Electric rates may go up, but our payment will stay the same for 15 years so the district has some protection against rising electric rates.
  • Project will be paid off after 15 years and district will own the parking structures and solar panels.
  • Solar panels will provide all power for the library and Performing Arts Center (including the auditorium, Little Theater, and band and choir rooms) at Lake Havasu High School.
  • Solar panels will provide all power for Round Table Program and building C at the district office complex.

Solar panels may be installed at additional district locations in the future. Thank you for taking the time to read this and understand why we are investing in solar energy . . . we care about our future!