With no upfront cost to the school district, Fridley Public Schools has begun the installation of solar energy panels at each of its schools and buildings.
Working with iDEAL Energies, a Minneapolis-based green company, the district began installing the solar panels this summer, and the project will continue throughout the rest of the year. iDEAL is a Minneapolis-based company that has worked with several Minnesota school districts, including White Bear Lake, Orono, Richfield, Burnsville, Minneapolis, Bloomington, Osseo and Eden Prairie.
Once completed, iDEAL will operate and maintain the solar arrays for the district. This green initiative will save Fridley Public Schools an average $36,635 per year, with $407,572 savings in 10 years and $1.17 million in 20 years. Through this initiative, the district will be generating its own, free energy after 20 years.
The district’s partnership with iDEAL Energies also includes an opportunity for students to learn through science-based modules that engage them and increases their understanding of solar energy; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers; teamwork; design and real world issues in the work of STEM professionals. These learning modules are aligned with future Minnesota State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and the 21st Century Learning Frameworks.