Hollister School District saves thousands of dollars using solar panels

HOLLISTER, Mo. (KY3) – The Hollister School District installed its first set of solar panels in 2019. Two years later, the school has seen big savings.

Hollister Schools communications director Kim Connell said solar panels were installed at the elementary school because it has the highest energy cost of any of its buildings.

After the handover, the installation of the panels cost the school $ 150,000.

“Already in two years we have achieved savings of $ 36,000,” said Connell.

Recently, the school flipped the switch on its second set of solar panels.

“The second set of solar panels are located on the other side of the elementary building and the ones we strategically placed in our bus loop,” Connell said.

Connell says the panels now serve as a shelter for students and staff.

“In the past, if it was raining and they would stand in the rain while waiting for buses, or on a very hot 100 degree day, they would stand in the heat,” Connell said.

Fifth-grader Connor Shadwick says the solar panels made his experience of waiting for the bus much easier.

“They’re really great, before we got them the sun was still hitting us, hitting us in the face basically,” said student Connor Shadwick.

Shadwick says when the weather was bad there was no protection either, but now that is no longer a problem.

“For example, the other day, Wednesday, it was raining, but we were here and everything was fine. It’s hot today, and I’m under the awning and it’s not hot, ”Shadwick said.

The school expects to save approximately $ 1,500 per month from the second set of panels.

“Which will work out to about $ 18,000 a year,” Connell said.

She says the school not only saves money, it helps the environment.

“It helps conserve energy and these are great lessons for our students,” Connell said.

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