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Newhall district officials to hear solar-panel presentation

Posted: September 3, 2012 8:57 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 2012 8:57 p.m.

Looking for a less expensive way to keep the lights on, Newhall School District officials will hear a presentation from Psomas FMG, a company that specializes in solar power, at tonight’s board meeting.

“It’s not costing us anything, so the energy savings is one of the big attractions for us,” said Marc Winger, Newhall School District superintendent.

“The question is, do we want these structures on our campus,” he said. “So we’ve been having an ongoing talk about where we would put these structures, and we really aren’t settled on that yet.”

The proposal under consideration from Psomas is similar in idea to one the Hart district recently accepted, Winger said.

Under the deal, Psomas FMG would bear construction costs for installation of the paneling, and then receive the right to lease energy to the district.

The district’s rate likely would be set forth in a 20-year agreement and intended to be less than the current rate the district pays to Edison, based on an assumed annual 5-percent incremental increase in Edison’s rate, said Newhall board President Christy Smith.

Psomas FMG has installed more than 50 systems, a majority of which are on school campuses, according to Al Negy, chief operating officer of Psomas FMG.

“The power we generate costs less than if they pay for that power from the utility that first year,” Negy said. “What happens in the future is an estimate and a projection.”

Newhall officials have created two subcommittees to investigate the potential of a deal, one from the legal perspective and another group that is looking at the broader practical implications, Smith said.

The findings of both with be reviewed during the meeting. “We’ve just been in the preliminary stage for a long time,” Smith said. “And now that were getting down to the details,” Smith said.

“We want to take one final look at it and make sure we dot all those I’s and cross those T’s.”



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