The Roxbury Latin School is the oldest independent school in the US, and you don't last that long unless you embrace change. With that in mind, Roxbury Latin installed a solar panel renewable energy system on the roof of the Albert Gordon Field House.
Financially, it made sense for Roxbury Latin, said Don Pellegrini, director of buildings and grounds at Roxbury Latin, who was involved in the project from the start. “There is no capital outlay for the school,” Pellegrini said. “Solect provides materials and installation, and we lease to Solect the Gordon Field House roof. We pay Solect directly for the clean energy produced by the panels at a rate 35-percent lower than our utility. It has been a great project for Roxbury Latin.”
Hopkinton-based Solect Energy Development installed the new 140 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy system on the roof in the last two weeks.
Contractually, Solect will provide electricity to Roxbury Latin at reduced rates, and after 15 years, Roxbury Latin will own the system outright. Projected savings in the first year are estimated at more than $5,000, and the school is expected to save around $100,000 during the 15-year lease term.
The system is compromised of approximately 565 American-made panels, according to Solect. The electricity will power both the fieldhouse and the McNay Wrestling Palaistra, and any excess electricity generated will be routed to the school’s HVAC system, which will reduce the school’s energy costs.
For Roxbury Latin students, an interactive kiosk located in the Bauer Science Center outside the physics lab will provide a continuous data stream measuring the solar panel output, as well as weather information from a rooftop weather station. Teachers will work the information into the science curriculum to help students better understand the process behind solar energy.