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In its latest move to offset increased energy use with energy-efficient projects, the Sedona Oak Creek School District Governing Board unanimously agreed to hire Kinney Construction Services for work on future solar projects.

From the $73.4 million bond voters passed in November 2007, the district has $4 million to go toward solar projects, Arcadis Project Manager Dave Young said.

Discussions are still preliminary, he said, but Kinney and the district may decide to put solar panels on the roofs of Sedona Red Rock High School, West Sedona School and the district office, or they may decide to go with a solar farm that generates energy for the entire district.

The district’s three schools and the district office will get an additional 84,000 square feet after bond construction is complete. As the schools get bigger, so do their utility bills.

According to Young, who oversees the district’s bond construction, the extra square footage will add $162,000 annually to the district’s bills.

To offset the extra utilities, the district worked energy-saving projects like high-efficiency lighting and air conditioning units, low-flush urinals and skylights into the new construction.

It also hired APS Energy Services to install 100 kilowatts of solar panels on Big Park’s roof, to save the district $41,000 a year.

The solar panels and the high-efficiency projects save the district close to $160,000 a year, Young said, so the district will save what the increase in square footage will add in utility bills.

Unfortunately, as the district calls it even on the added utilities, it is forced to look at paying for $364,000 in excess utilities that it may no longer be able to tax for.

Since 2001, Arizona school districts have taxed their residents to pay for “excess utilities” — utility costs above a baseline amount.

That bill, which was part of Proposition 301, expires this fiscal year, Superintendent Mike Aylstock said, though there is talk at the state

level to bring it back in

some fashion.

“If we’re not allowed to tax that anymore, that’s roughly $400,000 we have to take out of our Maintenance and Operations budget,” Aylstock said. “We’d be able to function, but it would make it much more difficult.”

That’s where Kinney comes in.

With $4 million of solar projects coming to the district, generating 500 kilowatts of electricity, Young estimates it will

save the district $200,000 annually in utilities.

“It doesn’t get rid of all the excess utilities, but it’s better,” he said.

 

Alison Ecklund can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 125, or e-mail

aecklund@larsonnewspapers.com

In its latest move to offset increased energy use with energy-efficient projects, the Sedona Oak Creek School District Governing Board unanimously agreed to hire Kinney Construction Services for work on future solar projects.

From the $73.4 million bond voters passed in November 2007, the district has $4 million to go toward solar projects, Arcadis Project Manager Dave Young said.

Discussions are still preliminary, he said, but Kinney and the district may decide to put solar panels on the roofs of Sedona Red Rock High School, West Sedona School and the district office, or they may decide to go with a solar farm that generates energy for the entire district.

The district’s three schools and the district office will get an additional 84,000 square feet after bond construction is complete. As the schools get bigger, so do their utility bills.

According to Young, who oversees the district’s bond construction, the extra square footage will add $162,000 annually to the district’s bills.

To offset the extra utilities, the district worked energy-saving projects like high-efficiency lighting and air conditioning units, low-flush urinals and skylights into the new construction.

It also hired APS Energy Services to install 100 kilowatts of solar panels on Big Park’s roof, to save the district $41,000 a year.

The solar panels and the high-efficiency projects save the district close to $160,000 a year, Young said, so the district will save what the increase in square footage will add in utility bills.

Unfortunately, as the district calls it even on the added utilities, it is forced to look at paying for $364,000 in excess utilities that it may no longer be able to tax for.

Since 2001, Arizona school districts have taxed their residents to pay for “excess utilities” — utility costs above a baseline amount.

That bill, which was part of Proposition 301, expires this fiscal year, Superintendent Mike Aylstock said, though there is talk at the state

level to bring it back in

some fashion.

“If we’re not allowed to tax that anymore, that’s roughly $400,000 we have to take out of our Maintenance and Operations budget,” Aylstock said. “We’d be able to function, but it would make it much more difficult.”

That’s where Kinney comes in.

With $4 million of solar projects coming to the district, generating 500 kilowatts of electricity, Young estimates it will

save the district $200,000 annually in utilities.

“It doesn’t get rid of all the excess utilities, but it’s better,” he said.

 

Alison Ecklund can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 125, or e-mail

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