Utah Middle School to power nearly 80 percent of energy needs through solar installations

Published on May 25, 2018 by Chris Galford

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With the launching of a 206-kilowatt solar array and battery system, the North Sanpete Middle School in Moroni, Utah, has become the largest participant in the Blue Sky renewable energy project in more than a decade.

Nearly 80 percent of the school’s needs will be met through solar power alone now, and will even include an electric vehicle charging system. Under the new system, the school’s critical power needs can still be met for up to three days during emergencies — a component of the school’s role as the first Blue Sky project to utilize battery storage.

“This development is not only an energy cost-savings measure, but it incorporates technology as part of the STEM and Career and Technical Education opportunities for our students,” Sam Ray, superintendent of North Sanpete School District, said. “This project moves our students to the cutting edge of technology and renewable energy.”

The effort was made possible through Blue Sky customers, who contributed $576,224 in grant funding. These, in turn, also enabled a federally qualified zone academy bond, which gave the school access to further energy-saving measures.

Blue Sky is a project from Rocky Mountain Power, which utilizes wind and solar energy generation in the region. It is largely made possible through voluntary contributions. For North Sanpete, though, Blue Sky will also mean opportunities for courses dedicated to teaching students about the installation and testing of solar panels. Other district schools already make use of electric cars for extracurricular activities and utilize smaller solar panels.