Solar Energy Considered for Dav. Schools

Jul 3, 2018

solar panels like these would be mounted on the roofs of Davenport schools.
Credit Davenport School District

Hoping to save money, the Davenport School District is considering a major investment in solar energy. The district has received proposals from five companies, and the top-rated proposal so far would include installing solar panels at 14 buildings.

Director of Operations, Mike Maloney, says these solar arrays would generate about 80 per cent of the power needed, and the rest would come from its current power provider, MidAmerican Energy.

But no matter which proposal is chosen, it will be a very complex project.

"There are legal and tax consequences for the investor. There are legal constraints on the funds we would use. And we've go to make sure we get a contract that complies with all the legal requrements and restrictions on uses of funds and so forth."

Among the major decisions to be made are: will the Davenport School District own and operate the solar arrays, or will a private investor install and operate the arrays, and sell the power to the district. 

Maloney says the use of solar power is growing in the midwest, and some completed projects in Iowa include the Bennett School District, Luther College, and the city of Dubuque. 

He thinks a final decision will be made by the board sometime this summer.