SME was awarded three solar projects for the Gahanna-Jefferson School District. These projects consisted of two roof mounted solar arrays at the Gahanna-Lincoln High School and the Gahanna Middle School West. The third solar array at Blacklick Elementary School, was the first of three projects to gain approval and the only ground mounted photovoltaic system to be completed by the school district.
The three solar arrays can generate nearly 2 megawatts of power, which is 75 percent of the school district’s power needs. The breakdown of the three solar arrays is as follows:
Gahanna Middle School West – 500kw
Blacklick Elementary School – 484kw
Gahanna-Lincoln High School – 1mw
SME not only had the challenge of running three concurrent projects, but also had to battle Ohio’s weather between the months of October and December of 2012. All three of the projects were slated to be completed within two months, regardless of weather conditions. Another challenge was the projects were to take place while school was in session, bringing the systems online had to be coordinated carefully as to not interrupt service to the schools.
The photovoltaic systems were designed by Korda Nemeth and SME for the school district and Solar Planet. These projects were projected to save the school district approximately $85,000 a year on energy costs.