Negaunee HS Solar Energy Grant

Negaunee High School’s colors are maize and blue, but they may be adding green to that.

They’ve received a grant to install solar panels on top of the school, and they hope to put them in before the snow comes.

“They gave the idea to explore, and then, boom. We wrote the grant and it was approved,” Negaunee school superintendent Jim Derocher said.

What was once just an idea to further education for Negaunee students is now a future energy plan in action.

The high school recently received an energy grant to install solar panels on the school’s roof.

The idea of a $98,000, 10-kilowatt system for the high school was a dream come true.

They received a grant from the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth, and others from Wisconsin Energy and the City of Negaunee.

After planning for more than a year, Negaunee wants to share the event with everyone, and that’s exactly what they plan to do.

“A real-time monitor that will be placed right by the principal’s office at the high school, so the students in the school day, or any visitors during the day, can see that monitor,” he said.

Not only are they installing a monitor on the school’s campus, but also online.

“We live-stream that out on our webpage, so that people can go to our webpage and find out the amount of electricity that’s being produced at that time,” Derocher said.

By spreading the word to other communities, Jennifer Binkley-Power of the Northern Options Energy Center hopes more groups will pay attention to their own energy use.

“I think it’s very important for the U.P. This is going to be a great demonstration, and I hope a lot of people follow it and learn from it,” she said.

The panels were 1 of just 3 projects in the state that got approved for that grant money.

The ides should help out not just the community as a whole but the students, too.

“This is just one more thing to allow the students to see and use education to impact our world”, Derocher said.

The school board will decide what kind of solar panels they want on Monday night.