Rural School Buys Solar Panels and Raises Teachers Wages with Energy Savings

 School in rural Arkansas has made significant changes to renewable energy, covering a field in solar panels to strengthen their school district and saving heaps of money in the process. After deciding to take it one-step further, Batesville Schools used their impressive savings on each utility bill to raise the salaries of their teachers, translating the first savings from renewables into direct pay increases.

Not only the field of their solar panels, which now has about 1,500 electricity in the school district, but the left energy can also be sold for electricity in the local area near the grid. Prior to their establishment, the district’s utility bills exceeded $600,000 per year, leaving the region in a precarious financial situation. Teachers paid very low salaries, most of who forced to leave. Responsible for the 3,200 students at six institutions, the uninterrupted turnover of teachers made running the district a difficult task. 

An audit found that installing a modern power infrastructure, including an array of solar panels, could save $2.4 million over the next 20 years, reducing the region’s carbon footprint as well as solving their financial problems. In 2017, an unused area transformed into a landscape of solar panels, and recently the front of the high school received panels. Between their declining utility savings and their power generation, the extra income going directly to teachers means Batesville has quickly risen to the rank, becoming one of the best from the county’s lowest average salary, reports CBS News. 

Asked if teachers knew anything about the new initiative, one of the source teachers, Jenny Roepcke said, “No, it would not one of the things I thought it was. However, what a great idea, the way the sun is shining, why not cash in?” Gene has a saying – renewable energy is now the cheapest. 11.4% of total energy production in the United States comes from wind, solar and other renewals.Prices for installing solar power and wind turbines have fallen sharply in recent years, with the cost per watt for solar panels currently standing between $2.50 and $3.50, down 82% from the previous decade. The shift toward renewables has certainly begun, and many regions will probably follow the Bates Wheel to cut both spending and their carbon footprint. Even as large companies transmit fossil fuels, carmaker Audi recently announced that they would abandon the development of combustion engines.