Driving Innovation

A bright future: local high school goes solar

September 3, 2019

When state Rep. Diane Pappas attended Lake Park High School in Roselle, Ill., in the 1980s, students planted a tree to “go green.” Today, the school district is taking it to another level by becoming one of the first in Illinois to adopt solar power on a large scale.

Pappas returned to her alma mater as a state legislator and proud alumna to celebrate the school receiving a $463,000 check from ComEd for going solar. ComEd’s rebate program pays $250 per kilowatt of installed solar power capacity to eligible customers to help offset installation fees and to spur renewable energy development.

“When I was in high school, we were just starting to think about environmental issues,” Pappas said. “I am so proud of my alma mater for doing this project.”

The high school completed its solar panel installation in 2017. The declining installation cost of solar has made these changes cost effective for the district and will result in an estimated net savings of $5.1 million over 25 years.

“This project is amazing in that it brings together the best of all possible motives: renewable clean energy, cost savings and an educational component for students,” the state representative said.

Pappas recommends others to consider going solar too.

“If you have the roof space and want to save money long term, I can’t think of any reason why this isn’t a good idea,” Pappas said. “You get to feel good about yourself for doing something for the environment.”

Find out how much you might save by going solar. Launch the ComEd solar calculator to estimate project costs and potential savings.