Solar array goes live at Oak Grove Elementary
Oak Grove Elementary joins four other schools in Bloomington Public Schools to generate clean energy through solar panels installed on its roof. The solar array went live last month.
The panels directly power the school when there is a need. When there is not a need, the energy generated offsets the load on the power grid. In return, the district receives credits on its energy bills.
Oak Grove Elementary joins Jefferson, Kennedy, Indian Mounds and Valley View Middle School with solar arrays installed on their roofs. Poplar Bridge Elementary and Oak Grove Middle School are next on the list to get solar. Beyond that, the 25-year plan calls for solar at Hillcrest, Ridgeview, Pond, Normandale Hills, Olson, and an expansion to the arrays at Jefferson and Kennedy.
The district is on track to save an estimated $7 million over the course of the project. The solar panels are installed and maintained by Bloomington-based iDEAL Energies.
In addition to on-site solar, the district participates in solar farms in Dakota County to receive energy bill credits, resulting in further savings.
Combining the solar energy produced on- and off-site, the district gets about 31 percent of its energy from solar power, a percentage that will increase with future projects.