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Grayslake Community High School District 127 Invests in Alternative Energy



Solar Power Will Provide Clean, Renewable Energy and Save $9.8 Million in Energy Costs

Grayslake Community High School District has announced the construction of two rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems as well as a ground mount system, making it one of the first public school districts in the state to adopt PV on a large scale. The declining installed cost of solar has made this cost effective for the District and will result in an estimated net savings of $9.8 million over 25 years. Both Grayslake Central HS and Grayslake North HS will have roof-mounted solar arrays with an additional ground installation at North HS. Construction commenced on November 15th. At completion, a total of 2.9 megawatts (MW) will be produced and offset an estimated 32% of utility costs. A rendering of the roof-top solar array design example can be found for Grayslake Central and Grayslake North.

The school selected Performance Services, Inc. a national energy services company (ESCO) to perform a comprehensive facility assessment. The solar project is being financed through a performance contract and follows the implementation of a two-phase capital improvements project with energy conservation measures including building system retrofits, building controls upgrade and integration and LED lighting improvements.

“District 127 has been working for years to reduce our carbon footprint.  This solar project is an exciting and financially sound way to produce clean energy and provide a learning tool for our students.” said Dr. Catherine Finger, Superintendent of District 127.

In addition, a curriculum program developed by the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project and sponsored by Performance Services is available to the District, including a web-based energy dashboard and production data from the actual solar installations for use in the classroom. “This is an important extension of our value proposition for schools to provide high performing, energy efficient buildings that provide optimal learning environments, said Tim Thoman, President of Performance Services. The education component reinforces our commitment to renewable energy and education in a way that directly benefits teachers and students by engaging and teaching how their own school’s solar-generated electricity systems work."

This solar project is a continuation of Grayslake School District’s initiatives to reduce the district’s carbon footprint of its buildings and grounds. The energy produced by the solar array is equivalent to the electricity needed to power an estimated 268 homes in a single year. The project will reduce greenhouse gases by 2,542 metric tons, equivalent to taking 537 cars off the road in a single year.

For more information contact Dr. Michael Zelek, Associate Superintendent/CSBO at

Project photos courtesy of Continental Electric