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Kinnelon Solar Project Nearly Complete

Panels will soon be installed on middle school roof.

Kinnelon Public Schools' project to install solar panels on three of the district schools is reaching its final phases, according to Business Administrator Jim Minkewicz.

Minkewicz said the final phase of the project needed is to install a "pad" on Pearl R. Miller School where the solar panel field will be installed.

The school district is participating in the Morris County Improvement Authorities Renewable Energy Program. Through the program, for which Kinnelon's participation was approved by the board of education in April, 375 kilowatts of energy are expected to be generated for the district. The panels, which are also being installed at Kinnelon High School and Stonybrook School, are expected to reduce energy consumption at the three schools by about 20 percent.

A $60 million Morris County bond is funding the program, which includes 22 schools in nine school districts.

Kinnelon Board of Education Member Denise Hatch, liaison to the board's facilities committee, said the district was fortunate that the work that had already been done for the project on the buildings was not damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

"Other districts did have some damage," she said.

Hatch said the district also needs to coordinate the project with the local electric company before it is complete.

"Butler Electric was a little occupied with other things rather than our new solar project," she joked.

District officials are hopeful the project will be finished in the next few months.

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