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Hope School Board Accepts Energy Savings, Solar Plan

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 10/20/20 4:04 PM

HOPE – A comprehensive energy use and savings plan proposed for the Hope Public Schools, including construction of a 1.13 megawatt AC solar array owned by the school district, was accepted Monday by the Hope Board of Education.

Total cost savings projected from all aspects of the overall plan for electrical, water, HVAC use/repair-replacement, and capital avoidance costs is estimated at some $225,000 per year.

The proposal is from Entegrity Partners, of Fayetteville and contains nine components including lighting upgrades, solar energy, water conservation improvement, HVAC equipment replacement, HVAC equipment tune-ups, HVAC control, sustainability education, water piping repair (Clinton Primary School), and acoustical ceiling installation with LED lighting at Yerger Middle School.

Entegrity representative John Coleman told the board in a Zoom conference the company is ready to proceed with the second phase of the project.

“We’re excited to be back in front of you,” Coleman said.

Entegrity has completed project evaluation and development work that produced the nine recommended components, including:

–Lighting upgrades for approximately 5,500 existing fixtures across HPS facilities from fluorescent or incandescent lighting to LED, which the company says will reduce lighting energy costs by 60 percent and maintenance costs by 50 percent.

–Construction of a 1.13 megawatt solar energy array projected to offset more than 80 percent of the district’s electricity consumption in conjunction with savings from lighting, water conservation and HVAC measures.

–Water conservation measures to improve efficiency of 861 existing fixtures with a projected water and sewer costs reduction of 25 percent.

–Replacement of approximately one-third of the existing HVAC units, which are 15 or more years old.

–HVAC tune-ups on 171 systems districtwide.

–Optimizing scheduling and set-point for HVAC controls to allow for additional energy savings by eliminating simultaneous heating/cooling and optimizing air flow into classrooms.

–Delivery of a sustainability education program designed to engage both teachers and students in hands-on professional training that connects students with school building operations.

–Water piping repair at Clinton Primary School as a short-term capital project utilizing savings from other measures.

–Reconfigure lighting at Yerger Middle School with LED lights to conform to installation of acoustical ceiling tile as part of the larger lighting project.

Board President Linda Haynes asked how the construction financing for the solar array and other capital costs will be structured. Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said some $3.4 million will be invested by Entegrity.

“Their investors are funding it,” Dr. Hart said. “They get paid back through the savings.”

Coleman also noted Entegrity and the district have worked successfully with Hope Water and Light to facilitate the project.

“We were working with Hope Water and Light to bring their policy in line,” he said. “They have been great to work with. We have been able to structure it where it will benefit them as well.”

In other business Monday night, the board adjusted the annual school calendar to add May 28 for the day missed due to hurricane conditions; contracted with Steamatic of Hot Springs for mold remediation services at a cost of $19,829.23; and, adopted personnel recommendations.