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Northland Pines joins Lakeland by installing major solar array at schoolSubmitted: 08/15/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Northland Pines joins Lakeland by installing major solar array at school
EAGLE RIVER - Last year, Lakeland Union High School told us there should be more solar panel projects like Lakeland's across the country. Now, that school will soon have a neighboring district with a similar solar array.

Northland Pines plans to start installing a major solar project next month. Pines first started exploring a solar plan years ago.


"Once we actually see the panels being installed in September, I do think people will get more excited, intrigued maybe," said Northland Pines District Administrator Dr. Mike Richie. "We'll have people driving by, checking it out."

More than $660,000 in panels will go on the roof of the high school fieldhouse, behind Eagle River Elementary, and near Land O'Lakes Elementary.

They'll be used to produce energy for the schools and provide learning opportunities for the students.

"We're looking at the benefit to our students," Richie said. "Obviously, there will be a benefit for the environment. But our students will have a living laboratory at their fingertips every day."

A third-party investor is paying for the panels. After 12 years, the district can buy the panels outright. If it does that, it projects that it would save $50,000 in energy costs each year.

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