Technicians are completing the installation of solar panels at two high schools that are each capable of generating 25,000 watts of electricity.
The new solar panels also will have an instructional component because students across the district can electronically access a computer system that monitors the energy that’s produced. A similar real-time monitoring system is in place for students to track the effects of a recently installed solar hot water heater at H.E. McCracken Middle School. Bluffton High’s solar panels, in addition to their energy production, will be used to shade an outdoor patio used during the day by seniors at the school. Bluffton High students assisted in the design. Power generated by the new solar panels will be sold to South Carolina Electric and Gas for 8 cents per kilowatt hour, which the school district estimates will generate savings (at today’s rates) that will cover the cost of the panels in 15-20 years.