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Board invited to okay solar array

September 18, 2013 by

Obsidian Renewables, LLC, represented by Vice Pres. Todd Gregory, recently proposed a solar panel array project for the school buildings that make up the Lakeview High School and Daly Middle School campus.

The project, though still in its initial stages, would be intended to supply power for Lake County School District #7 offices as well as the high school and the new Innovation and Learning Center.

Gregory has been involved in a few past solar projects in Lake County, as Obsidian was responsible for the construction of an array just southwest of Lakeview, as well as a large array in Christmas Valley.

The proposed school building project would be a 200 kW array, sited in the vacant field next to the District Office building and softball fields.  By Gregory’s estimates, it could provide up to 80 percent of the power needs of the school campus.

Gregory’s idea, however, was not only one of providing power, but making all data from the operation of the array available to students at local schools.  The completed panels would be used for workforce training and education, according to him, and could help train students to build and maintain future solar arrays both here and elsewhere.

With available grants intended for another canceled project, Gregory assured the District Board that there would be no upfront capital cost.  The plan would be to have the Board enter into a power purchase agreement once the array was fully approved, with Obsidian managing the panels for 5 years and selling the power to the District.

Jim Walls of Lake County Resources Initiative spoke to the Board, giving his support of Gregory and Obsidian Renewables, calling them a community company.  Walls also said he is confident in Gregory’s ability, and that the proposal is sincere.

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