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Bethlehem Area School District

September 20, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm - December 15, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Mark Stein, Director, Facilities & Operations

Northampton and Lehigh Counties

James Buchanan Elementary (280KW)

Farmersville Elementary (400KW)

Spring Garden Elementary (270KW)

East Hills Middle (295KW)

Freedom High (380KW)

Year installed:  2010-2011

Total cost:  $7,172,237

Cost per watt:  $4.41/watt

Financing:  DCED Grants ($1.8M), PPA fixed $.09/KWH, $.10/KWH for Freedom HS to fund parking canopy.

PPA:  Tangent Energy Solutions was the initial PPA provider.

Solar system installer:  Tri-M Group of Kennett Square (4 of 5), Baja Group (Freedom)

Ground mounted/Rooftop:  Buchanan, Farmersville, Spring Garden = Ground mounted; East Hills = rooftop; Freedom = parking canopy. An interesting solution was developed at Spring Garden. The City of Bethlehem allowed the school district to use part of a retention basin in which to site the panels, so the amount of usable green space was minimized by using the otherwise unusable retention basin space. Two of the schools (James Buchanan and Farmersville) are fully powered by solar energy.

Annualized Savings:  The PPA agreement broke even over the first five years, but the fact that electricity rates actually declined below the negotiated PPA price, has cost the District an additional $163,000 over the last seven years. Annualized it is $13,603/year over 12 years on an average electricity spend of $1.4M. The PPA breaks even again beginning in July 2023.

Percent of total usage offset:  Approximately 9% of the district’s consumption.

Future Plans:  BASD received a state grant to purchase 2 electric school buses. Infrastructure upgrades are planned for completion during summer 2023 with buses expected to arrive in February 2024. The district will continue with a district-wide energy conservation program which has resulted in a $20M cost saving for BASD community by focusing on efficient operation of existing building HVAC plants, energy efficient lighting upgrades and demand response programs.


September 20, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
December 15, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
Event Category:


East Hills Middle School
2005 Chester Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18017 United States
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Sustainable Features
Solar PV - Rooftop
Tour Site Type
Solar School

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