News Releases

Sunlight Helps Power Lovelock Schools

Dec 16, 2010

Lovelock, Nev. -- The Pershing County School District has installed nearly 300 kilowatts of photovoltaic solar power to generate much of the electricity for three schools in Lovelock.  Federal grant dollars and an alternative energy rebate program created by the Nevada State Legislature are covering most of the project costs.

On December 20, the district will receive a $1.49 million rebate from NV Energy’s SolarGenerations program for investing in solar energy. Photovoltaic panels were installed on a covered walkway at Pershing County Middle School, and on parking lot shade structures at Pershing County High School and the Lovelock Elementary School. The contractor for the projects was Hamilton Solar of Reno.  

“We viewed this as a potential money saver for the district, as well as saving part of Mother Nature’s environment,” said Pershing County School District Superintendent Dan Fox, adding that the rebate and federal funding helped make the project financially feasible for the district.

The solar panels are expected to produce about 600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, reducing the district’s annual electric bill by approximately $72,000. In addition, the panels will reduce the district’s carbon footprint by about 450 tons per year, according to NV Energy.

 “These projects will benefit the district financially and allow a more ‘hands-on’ opportunity for students and community members to witness alternative energy solutions and savings,” Fox said, adding that the photovoltaic panels will be incorporated in the district’s science curriculum.

 With help from nonprofit Black Rock Solar, the school district installed 70 kilowatts of solar at Lovelock Elementary School in 2009. Fox said that installation has saved the district $22,095 in electricity costs.

 Since the start of the SolarGenerations program in 2004, a total of 750 photovoltaic projects that generate six megawatts of electricity have been completed statewide, and $23 million has been paid in rebates. Funding for the solar program and similar programs for small wind and hydroelectric projects comes from small fee, 0.0057300 cents per kilowatt hour, that’s included in customers’ electric bills.

For further information: Media Contact: Karl Walquist (775)834-3891