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Tantasqua looks to the sun

Placing solar panels at regional schools

June 13, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Something may catch your eye on Brookfield Road in the near future.

The Tantasqua Regional School District is planning to mount photovoltaics — cells containing panels that convert solar energy into electricity — on the roofs of the two regional schools.

"This has been an ongoing project," said Tantasqua Superintendent Daniel G. Durgin.

After realizing cost savings on both heat and chemicals by replacing the high school's swimming pool cover with a solar cover two years ago, Durgin said the district has been looking at a number of ways to improve energy efficiency and save money.

Currently, Tantasqua has a request for proposals out, seeking companies willing to take on the project, which would come at no cost to the five member communities. Requests are due back at the district office by June 22. Durgin said the project will most likely be awarded within a week of that due date.

The solar cells, Durgin explained, would actually be bought and installed by an independent company. The electricity they produce would then be sold back to the school district at a heavily discounted rate.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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