The first MN Solar for Schools grant-funded installation is complete

May 2023

Congratulations to Marshall Public Schools for being the first to receive and complete installation of solar arrays for the Minnesota Solar for Schools Grant Program!

The district received $497,135 from the Solar for Schools program to install five ground-mounted 40 kW solar photovoltaic systems. The installations are located at Marshall High School, Middle School, Park Side Elementary, Southview Elementary, and the Career and Technical Education Center. The first four locations were the first activated systems of the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Solar for Schools Grant program in the state. The CTE center is waiting on grid connection.

School board members and reps standing with solar array.

Pictured: Marshall Public Schools board members, Superintendent and Director of Business Services, Jason Walker with SRDC/SW CERT, Pete Lindstrom with CERTs, and Brok Johnson with Solar Connection.

To date the solar arrays have saved the schools $5,400 and are estimated to save over $22,000 per year, with $700,000 lifetime projected savings. The grant covered 85% of the total $585,000 cost, leaving the district with an out-of-pocket cost of $87,792 — to be recovered within four years. 

Marshall Public Schools will integrate the project into their K-12 curriculum as way to provide hands-on renewable energy education for students.

The Clean Energy Resource Teams and Southwest Regional Development Commission attended the school board meeting on May 15 where Peter Lindstrom from CERTs provided a brief presentation on energy, cost savings, and the education component of the program. The presentation was followed up by a short tour of the schools solar panels. 

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