Edina goes solar: new installments coming in 2020

Kyra Bergerud, administrative coordinator

Solar energy has emerged as one of the most prolific ways to facilitate clean energy in the 21st century, and Edina Public Schools will get the chance to experience this innovation first hand. The district has undertaken three solar installations to forward clean energy and improve its footprint. The earliest  installation of solar panels will occur in December on the Edina Transportation Center, followed by two other installations on Cornelia Elementary and Edina High School that will be completed by Spring 2020. 

According to Eric Hamilton, the Director of Buildings and Grounds for Cornelia Elementary School, all three of the systems, together, are expected to cost a little over one million dollars, a price that at first seems steep, but will be extremely cost saving to the district in the long run. A post from Umasolar indicates that solar panels are able to convert 22% of their available energy into electrical power, a profitable tool when funding the power of an entire school district. 

The districts central goals of the project are to, “Provide renewable energy that is close to the load, for a long term economic benefit for the district and community, educational opportunity around solar, especially with the Project Earth installation, [and] help fulfill the cities desire to see more solar around the community,” Hamilton said. Solar panels can be important tools of secondary education, as they show the clear impacts and utility of clean energy. Students who get to interact with the installations will have a more comprehensive and real world analysis of the cost and benefits of solar energy use. 

These three installations are the start of a more energy conscious and forward looking district. While the costs may appear steep, the conversion of solar energy to electrical energy is a long term economic gain and improvement to the city of Edina.