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Thanks to approximately one-third of our Greenpower customers who voted in 2016, Buena Vista Elementary School and Housing and Community Services of Lane County each received a grant of up to $50,000 for renewable energy projects. Read on for an update on these projects.
2016 EWEB Greenpower grant winner Buena Vista Elementary School is proceeding with its 8.6-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array. Work on the project will be done over the summer with a goal of completion by the end of August.
The PV system will save an estimated 10,400 kilowatt hours of electricity in the first year alone, which is about 7 percent of the power used at the facility. The school's operating costs will be reduced by about $630 each year and the grant will also help in the advancement of the school's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum, music program, physical education and Artist in Residence programs.
Housing and Community Services of Lane County, which also won a 2016 EWEB Greenpower grant, has put their project on hold pending other necessary facility improvements. If the project proceeds, we will keep our Greenpower customers informed on project status.
Based on the results of recent EWEB Greenpower customer surveys, combined with a significant decline in the number of grant applicants and time needed to complete grant projects over the last few years, we have evaluated program features. Effective this year, we have made the following changes to the Greenpower grant program:
Non-profit organizations are still eligible to receive solar incentives through our Solar Electric Program. So, your contribution to the EWEB Greenpower program continues to support solar electricity incentives for local non-profit organizations.
The funding previously directed to annual grant winners will be placed in reserves. As we continue to evaluate program features and gather your feedback, we will be able to better determine how and where funds should be distributed.
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