Kinnelon Solar Panel Project 'Moving Along'
School principals to meet with Morris County energy representatives in August.
The sun has not yet set on a solar panel project at Kinnelon Public Schools that is expected to generate 375 kilowatts of energy for the district.
Business Administrator Jim Minkewicz updated the Kinnelon Board of Education on the status of the project at the board's July 19 meeting. He said representatives of the Morris County Improvement Authorities Renewable Energy Program will meet with the principals of the three district schools-Kinnelon High School Pearl R. Miller School and Stonybrook School- where the panels will be installed in August. Already this summer, engineers visited Stonybrook and Pearl R. Miller "to say that they didn't forget about us and things are moving along," Minkewicz said.
Energy consumption at the three schools involved is expected to be reduced by 20 percent with the panels. The board authorized the project in April of last year.
The county program, which includes nine school districts, is funding the project through a $60 million bond. Minkewicz said 22 schools are involved, four of which are using the parking lot solar panels, which he said took precedent over the roof installations.
Kinnelon will not have parking lot panels, Minkewicz said, which eased some of the concerns of Board Member Denise Hatch. Hatch also had concerns, though, about the safety of people on school property during the installation, as well as the noise while they are being put in.
"Some of the outside private clubs in town use the facilities during the weekends in the fall," she said.
Minkewicz said he was told the installation should be quiet and the engineers would work "after hours."
Board Member Keith Dama said he would like to be able to give the public a status update on the project at the board's September meeting.