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Lakewood saves money on energy purchases

HEBRON – Lakewood School District still managed to save money on electricity even though the amount it would save through installing new windows was over-estimated, Sabo Limbach Energy Services Project Development Manager Mark Taylor told Lakewood School Board members Jan. 14.

“We did not get all the savings back we anticipated on windows,” he said. However, he said the district purchased electricity much cheaper than expected as the district waited for new solar panels to go online, so in the end the district came out ahead financially.

“We all know the solar project got delayed, delayed, delayed,” Taylor said. After years of enduring hurdles, two solar arrays were finally installed on Lakewood property to generate electric power for the intermediate and high schools. Lakewood has a long-term power purchase contract with Solar Planet to purchase solar-generated power at rates expected to be below AEP’s rates. The arrays are expected to generate roughly 60 percent of the district’s power needs.

Once actual construction began, following months of struggling to reach an interconnection agreement with AEP, the project was completed slightly ahead of schedule in November and went online in December.

Energy savings from the solar arrays are to be used to finance replacement of 50 windows at the middle school through a House Bill 264 energy conservation program. “The school has to pay for the windows out of the savings,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the new windows didn’t deliver the cost savings in energy that was anticipated. However, cost savings through purchasing electricity at a less than expected price meant the district saved a total of $74,185 in energy expenditures last year. HB264 requires the district to save at least $81,000 per year to pay for the new windows.

Taylor said the district would’ve saved a total of $102,000 had the solar arrays been online earlier. This year, he expects the district will save so much from the arrays that it will cover the amount the district was short last year and still deliver the $81,000 necessary to pay for the windows. “They’ll have positive cash flow year two and forever more,” he said.

In other district news,

• Hebron Elementary building is 100 years old this year. It first opened its doors in January 1915.

“We would like to host a birthday celebration this year and as part of our celebration, we want to create a book of memories from past students, teachers, community members, etc.,” said principal Dee Martindale in a letter. “To help make this possible, we are asking for your help. We’d like staff, students and alumni to write down memories or stories from their time at Hebron. We would also like help distributing the questionnaire to any family, friends, or neighbors who may have attended Hebron school. Our hope is to have the questionnaire available on the district website along with information about the celebration so it is easy to access by anyone.”

Martindale continued, “We would also love to collect photos (names and dates if possible) from Hebron school. We can scan and return the originals if contact information is provided.”

There will be an open house in March.

Martindale asked people to submit completed Memory Questionnaires to Hebron School or by e-mail to as soon as possible, or by Feb. 6, at the latest.

• American Legion Post 285 presented Americanism awards to Lakewood students, including Kathryn McGinnis, Shayla Lothes, Harsimran Kaur, Joseph Lancis, Nathaniel Graham, and Nicholas Novotny.

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