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Parkway launches major solar power project

Ribbon Cutting at BarrettsBarretts Elementary students helped cut ribbons today to celebrate the installation of solar panels at their school.

Here are a Parkway video and  a KSDK Channel 5 video of the ceremony.

Click here for more photos of the ribbon cutting celebration.

Barretts is the first Parkway school to install a solar panel system, but before long all Parkway schools will be outfitted with 3,267 solar panels. That number is enough to cover more than 30 tennis courts and provide 2.2 percent of the district’s power.

Parkway’s solar panel installation is the biggest among all Missouri schools. Over the life of the 20-year project, Parkway’s solar panels will prevent the release of 15,048 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  That is the environmental equivalent of planting nearly 385,000 trees.

Economically, the solar panels are estimated to save Parkway more than $1 million over 20 years.

In addition, each individual school building’s solar system will be equipped with an online monitoring program that will be accessible via the school Intranet system. Students and teachers will be able to view real-time data on their solar system’s energy production – a potentially powerful teaching tool in Parkway classrooms.

“It’s a win-win-win,” says Parkway School Board President Beth Feldman, who was on hand for the ribbon cutting, along with other Parkway board members.

“This is our future,” adds Parkway Superintendent Keith Marty, who also helped students cut the ribbons.