Solar panels are installed in a field next to Model Elementary School. Goshen Community Schools, John Glenn schools and a growing numbers of districts, nonprofits and municipalities across Indiana have embraced solar energy as a way to control costs. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
Solar panels are installed in a field next to Model Elementary School. Goshen Community Schools, John Glenn schools and a growing numbers of districts, nonprofits and municipalities across Indiana have embraced solar energy as a way to control costs. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
North Liberty Elementary will become the first public school in St. Joseph County to become virtually free from electricity bills when it completes an 846-panel solar field in the middle of March.

The John Glenn School District will pay for the $700,000 project with more than $7 million in new bonds it has issued with the main focus on improving energy efficiency in the district’s buildings.

“The bonds are replacing others that were paid off, so it won’t result in increased taxes,” said Superintendent Chris Winchell.

In fact, the energy savings from the solar field, new windows, LED lights and other improvements will help the district save thousands of dollars moving forward.

“The improvements will help us stay within budget while maintaining programs for students,” said Winchell, adding that the planned work should largely be completed before the start of the new school year.
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