The Power of Solar Partnerships
Huntley 158 partnered with our solar energy providers, Forefront Power, to offer students at Huntley High School a hands-on learning opportunity. Alongside licensed electricians from the IBEW, students installed solar panels on a shed constructed by students in HHS’ Geometry in Construction class. Students were involved in each stage of the process, from wiring and mechanics to the rooftop installation as they gained insight into the field of renewable energy while working with industry professionals.
In fall 2020 Huntley 158 reached a major milestone when we “flipped the switch” on the largest solar energy installation on school district property in Illinois. With three large solar installations totaling 15,100 solar panels across our three campuses, the project is now producing clean, renewable energy to fuel our buildings and the community.
Under the Power Purchase Agreement the District entered with our partner, ForeFront Power, the District pays a low, flat kilowatt-per-hour rate well below market rates for energy. These low rates are locked in for a period of 20 years, enabling the District to save an estimated minimum of $4.2 million over the life of the contract. Approximately 80% of the District’s energy usage will now come from solar, and during less active times, the excess energy produced from the panels will go back to the grid.
In addition to cost savings, the project will help reduce the District’s carbon footprint, offsetting some 12.3 million pounds of carbon emissions annually.
There is also an educational benefit from the project. All of the District’s school buildings will be outfitted with a kiosk detailing in real time the energy production from the project, enabling students and visitors to learn about the future-oriented field of renewable energy first-hand. In addition, ForeFront is providing the District with educational materials that will help integrate solar power technology into the school curriculum.