SunEdison, a company that has experience building solar structures for the public sector, is slated to install and maintain the structure with no upfront costs to L-S, in exchange for a 20-year contract under which the school would purchase electricity from the company.
The electricity rate would be 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The school currently pays 18.5 cents, and consumes about 3.15 million kWh per year, at a cost of $600,000.
The solar panels will cut electricity usage in half, and remaining electricity would be priced at the lower rate of 13.5 cents per kWh, for savings of about $90,000-$100,000 in the first year.
The electricity rate over the 20-year contract period would remain at the rate negotiated in 2012.
The 1.2-megawatt solar canopy would sit 13 feet above the ground and cover most of the parking lot, which would make vandalism or theft difficult.