Billings Public Schools is serious about saving money through energy conservation. The effort dates back to 2007. In that time, the district has saved more thanÂ $7.5 million.
One of the latest energy and money saving projects is solar panels in the high schools.
Skyview High School was the first. The solar panels at Skyview were completely installed last October.
Senior High School is in the process of getting its solar panels. Installation of solar panels for Senior High School started last fall. There is only about a week left of work on that project.
Billings Public Schools has applied for a grant for West High School. They will find out in October if they get that grant so work can begin at West High.
The solar panels are about $150,000 per school. Billings Public Schools has been able to get $50,000 grants so far for both of the schools they have worked on. That leaves a cost of $100,000 for the school district. Scott Reiter, executive director of facilities for Billings Public Schools, says that with time the solar panels will pay for themselves.
He said, Â “They have about a 10-year payback for the project. They are roughly costing about $150,000 per system. They make just a little over $10,000 per year is the projected amount. And, with a lifespan of 20-30 years, that’s a lot of savings.”
Reiter says that after all of the high schools have solar panels, Billings Public Schools may consider adding solar panels to other buildings, like middle schools.