Another solar rooftop of Solar Power Partners for Ventura CountyWhile three Illinois school districts have formed the School Wind Consortium to provide power and generate income, one California elementary school joins a growing number of others debuting all-solar systems to open the new school year.

Grant Elementary School in Redding has installed a 202.50kW solar energy system, which was built and financed at no capital cost to the district through a partnership with Solar Power Partners of Mill Valley, California.

Signing a purchase agreement, the school pays only for the power produced by the system at a pre-determined rate over 20 years, which will reportedly save an estimated total of $600,000 over the life of the agreement. (Photo: Solar rooftop from Solar Power Partners for Ventura County)

Earlier this year Solar Power Partners completed a 158.60 kW solar rooftop system for Westover School, a private girls’ high school in Middlebury, Connecticut, under a similar purchase arrangement. In 2008, York school in Monterey, CA began their contract benefitting from a 37.05 kW solar energy system.

Meanwhile, A plan by three struggling suburban school districts to create a revenue-generating wind farm has picked up some velocity this summer, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The three Chicago-area districts say their planned wind farm will generate all the energy they need — plus, enough extra to make $3 million a year selling the surplus.

The school boards of Keeneyville 20, Carpentersville’s Community Unit 300, and Prospect Heights 23 — plan to build the 13-turbine wind farm 140 miles southwest of Chicago, after issuing bonds, seeking investors and applying for federal grants to raise $50 million.

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