Installation of solar panels designed to provide energy to five Valley View School District 365U schools got underway this week with Lukancic Middle School in Romeoville the first on the schedule.
Plans call for installation of solar panels on the roofs of Lukancic and four Bolingbrook schools: Jane Addams, Humphrey, B.J. Ward and Jamie McGee by late spring.
The $5.27 million project is funded through a lease arrangement that will more than pay for itself in utility cost savings right from the beginning. Officials estimate over $9.2 million in cost savings over the next 25 years.
The solar panels, which are extremely reliable and carry a 25-year guarantee, are compatible with the roof structure at all five schools.
When completed, the power generated through the solar panel arrays will provide more than half of the electricity usage in the five schools, including an estimated 72 percent at Ward and 70 percent at Humphrey.
The only other school districts in Illinois utilizing solar energy currently are Libertyville, Lake Park and Grayslake.