Michigan City Area Schools (MCAS) is hosting a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate  completion of its innovative renewable energy project that models energy stewardship and provides utility savings across the District. The event is set for Wednesday, March 28 – 9 a.m.  at Krueger Middle School • 2001 Springland Ave, Michigan City, IN. The project is distinguished as the largest for an Indiana school district and consists of ground-mount photovoltaic (PV) arrays and LED lighting upgrades at seven school property locations. The solar arrays will provide 2.83 megawatts (dc) of clean, renewable energy and, in combination with the LED lighting upgrades, will offset approximately 52 percent of combined electricity usage at seven District buildings with expected net energy savings of $23 million over 30 years. The project is made possible due to Indiana net metering benefits for renewable systems and a guaranteed energy savings project with Performance Services, Inc. The net metering term will last 30 years per the interconnection agreement with Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) executed on December 15, 2017. The solar array locations include Joy Elementary, Niemann Elementary, Pine Elementary, Barker Middle School, Krueger Middle School, Michigan City Area High School and the MCAS Administration Building.

This is a win-win project in so many ways,” said Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, MCAS Superintendent. “We’re excited to move toward ‘greener’ and more efficient buildings, and we’re very pleased that the project is being financed through energy savings, at no cost to taxpayers. This will benefit Michigan City Area Schools and our community for many years to come.”

In addition, a customized solar curriculum program developed by the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project and sponsored by Performance Services is available to MCAS for use in the classrooms across the district. “This is an important extension of our value proposition for schools to provide high performing, energy efficient buildings that contribute to optimal learning environments,” said Tim Thoman, President and CEO of Performance Services. “The available educational component reinforces our commitment to education that directly benefits students by engaging and teaching how their very own school’s solar-generated system works.”

The project will reduce the carbon footprint of Michigan City Area Schools’ buildings and grounds by reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the electricity needed to power an estimated 292 homes in a single year.

Performance Services is an integrated design and delivery company that specializes in constructing and renovating education and municipal facilities to deliver high performing buildings with optimal environments. Innovative solar energy systems are integral to its services portfolio. The company has provided building and energy solutions to customers since 1998 and is a leading qualified provider of design-build, guaranteed energy savings projects, Energy Leadership programs and Energy Star® labeled schools.

This post and accompanying photo are thanks to a collaboration with Betsy Kohn, Director of Communications, Michigan City Area Schools.

Indiana’s urban schools offer Hoosier students a rich array of programs, services, and opportunities. IUSA appreciates the opportunity to share the stories that demonstrate what the schools have to offer and the many successes their students, faculty and staff achieve.

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