Joplin Schools Reach Agreement with Liberty Utilities to Use Solar Power, Reducing Future Electricity Costs | KSNF / KODE

JOPLIN, Mo. – You could say that the Joplin school district is becoming more and more under pressure. The district has entered into an agreement with Liberty Utilities for solar power. District officials say it will help them save money and energy at its 20 sites.

“We won’t really notice the difference in how much power we’re receiving or anything else. But what we should notice over time is the reduction in our bills based on school and electricity use, ”said Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Assistant Superintendent of Joplin Schools.

The Joplin School District has signed a ten-year agreement with Liberty Utilities for its “Community Solar Pilot Program”. Liberty Utilities will build a solar farm with 11,414 solar panels for the district.

“We have several sites throughout the district, nearly 20 different sites that are supplied with electricity from Liberty’s utilities. Depending on the size, age of site heating and ventilation units, site efficiency, site demand. Different sites have potential savings. So over time these savings should add up very well for us, ”said Dr Sachetta.

The solar power deal could save the district $ 30,000 to $ 119,000 per year. Savings will vary depending on the year and when a rate increase occurs.

“We’re excited about it. Any kind of savings for the school district would be beneficial at all times. And these are rough estimates based on conservative numbers they could give us, ”Dr Sachetta said.

There is no cost to the district to enter the program.

“One of the big advantages is that when there are Freedom tariff increases over time over the next ten years, the portion of our electricity that comes from solar energy has to remain constant. And the rest of the electricity, regardless of other sources, is probably what we’ll pay the tariff increases for, ”said Dr Sachetta.

It is not yet known where the solar farm will be built, but the district plans to receive solar energy by 2023.