Rural Siouxland schools district switches to solar energy

Local News

MARCUS, Iowa (KCAU) – Solar panels will soon be the main source of energy for one rural Siouxland school district.

Marcus Meriden Cleghorn and Remsen Union’s School is going green following a decision by the school board back in may.

The superintendent said installing solar panels will save the district money and free up funds for the school’s other needs.

“One of the challenges for schools is being able to find enough general fund dollars to run the school as effectively as possible, and we think by saving energy costs that would then allow us to be able to do things that would more greatly benefit kids than just paying for utilities,” Superintendent Dan Barkel said.

Senator Joni Ernst stopped by Marcus High School to take a tour of what the panels will look like.

“It’s great for rural America, not just solar, but our wind energy and the tax income that comes from those types of production efforts really benefits our rural school districts, our rural communities. It really is a win-win for everyone involved,” Ernst said.

The project is expected to be finished in the next few months.

Griffin Dooling is the President of Blue Horizon Energy, the company installing the panels. He said the school will get close to 95% of its electricity from solar energy.

“The project for the school is a little over $900,000 in total construction cost upfront. That is all born by third party investors and financiers so the school is not paying anything upfront,” Dooling said.

Dooling said the panels will save around $28,000 a year in energy costs.

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