ETSD considers solar project to save money, sell back electricity | Berks Regional News

ST. LAWRENCE, Pa. – The Exeter Township School District could be going solar.

Doug Neidich, CEO of GreenWorks Development, Harrisburg, gave a second presentation of his company’s proposal for a solar energy project that would offset 65% of the district’s electric usage.

During Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Neidich said that after his first presentation, the board was more interested in looking at a 110% offset — the maximum that can be offered to any district. In return, the district would get full retail credit for any electricity it sells back to the electric grid, up to the 110% maximum.

“We are the largest commercial solar power developer in Pennsylvania,” Neidich pointed out. He used an example of a project he said GreenWorks is doing for the Tamaqua Area School District.

“At $0.87 per kilowatt hour from PPL, their savings were over $150,000 per year for five years,” he said. “After they buy their system out in year six, the savings go from $150,000 to $280,000.”

“Their total estimated 40-year savings is over $11 million,” Neidich said. “And they are locked in at $.038 per kilowatt hour the 40 years.”

He told the directors that the district did not need to put up any money upfront, as the starting costs would be covered in the first year by the investors.

After the first year, the district would begin to earn cash from the price differential between solar and electric. After five years, the district would purchase the solar arrays, using bonds or other financing that can be obtained with the help of GreenWorks. However, the financing rate cannot be locked in now. The district must wait until the actual financing takes place in five years.

One school board member asked a…

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