Viola School District breaks ground on solar energy project

A local school district held a groundbreaking ceremony in conjunction with its recent board meeting. The Viola School District announced the start of a construction for a campus-based solar facility to supply over 90% of the schools’ energy.

In February, Viola Superintendent John May issued a request for proposals to purchase solar energy. The district ended up partnering with Today’s Power, Inc., of North Little Rock to develop a 480-kilowatt DC/375-kilowatt AC single-axis tracking system near the elementary school.

May says the 1,280-panel solar array is projected to save the district an estimated $15,000 at the beginning, but Viola is locking in its electric rate for the next 20 years, possibly increasing the savings later on. Through the array, 850,000 kilowatt hours will be generated each year, gathering over 90% of the district’s energy. The remainder of the Viola School District’s energy needs will be provided by North Arkansas Electric Cooperative.

Engineering and geo-technical work is in progress. May says he was informed by Today’s Power installation should begin by December, and the switch will be turned on before the end of the school year, if not sooner.

For more information on the project, contact May at 870-458-4001 or johnm@viola.ncsc.k12.ar.us.

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