BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) --Energy award winning Richardsville Elementary, has been not only been saving money, but it's also been making money, and it's all because of its solar panels. The Warren County School Board decided to extend its contract with Tennessee Valley Authority to continue using solar power at Richardsville Elementary school through them, in the past four years of their original ten year contract, they've actually made more money producing solar energy than the spend on their electric bill.
"Richardsville Elementary School is not only the first net zero school, which would mean you just wouldn't have an electric bill, but we're net positive. TVA pays us like 12 hundredths of a cent per kilowatt. An easier way to put that is 12 cents per hundred dollars of electricity generated is what they paid us above what we paid them to use the electricity," said Warren County School Board Chair Kerry Young.
Warren County Schools was actually paid a credit of $35,000 this year by TVA, and they'll keep that rate for the remaining six years on the original contract, but the new standard contract extension with TVA will mean a little less money on that check.
"These contracts and these programs.. these solar programs follow the market rate. We try to keep up, and the market price for solar has declined. The cost of installing solar has declined. Solar panels are cheaper, and so these programs try to keep up with the costs," said TVA Public Relations Official Scott Brooks.
"Even after the current contract ends and we go into the new contract, we'll still be net positive. Instead of receiving a check for 35,000, maybe we'll receive a check for 30,000. So from 35,000 to $30,000, it's still a positive," said Young.
It's still a net positive because although they will receive the same rate as what they pay for energy, they still create more energy than they use.
Young says the district is in talks with the TVA about possibly adding solar programs at Bristow and Jody Richards Elementary.