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Solar panels installed at North Forrest High School

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 5:14 PM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - When school starts in the fall, North Forrest High School is going green and harnessing the sun to power the school.

“They’ve put in the initial phase of the solar panels, 369 of them, and we look to get online Aug. 1,” said Mike Papas, director of auxiliary services at the Forrest County School District.

The solar panels cover the roof of the performing arts center at North Forrest High School. Thanks to a $250,000 grant, the project came at no cost to the Forrest County School District and will save money in the long run.

“It should be producing 175 megawatt hours, which is equivalent to 174 thousand kilowatt hours, which is going to be $25,000 savings in our energy bill for the Forrest County School District at North Forrest High School,” Papas said.

The money will go back into the district’s general fund. The school will still pull power from the regular grid at night and in bad weather, but the district is looking forward to sunny days ahead. The solar panels also provide an educational aspect.

“One of the things we’re going to develop this upcoming year, and it’s part of the grant, we have to find a way to introduce and talk about solar energy, being green, into the school district,” Papas said. “And we’ve got some plans and we’re working on that. That’s going to come together as the year progresses.”

The start date for the Forrest County School District 2021-2022 school year is July 26.

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