MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The power of the sun will soon play a larger role in education at a Twin Cities school.

A new solar project will be unveiled at Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis Thursday.

Boston Scientific is going to pay to install rooftop solar panels on the community gymnasium.

It will reduce power costs and end up saving the school money.

They said the project is also a good way to get kids thinking about the environment.

Comments (13)
  1. Redneck Purist says:

    The Solyndra debacle is also a good way to teach kids about politics and crony capitalism. I’d love to hear how long it will take to make up the cost of this project in utility savings. I noticed they omitted those details. It’s obviously a money loser if a private company has to pay for it. Too funny. Buy em books, send em to school……

    1. Citizen says:

      Actually there is a savings in cost, it just takes 20-40 years to realize the cost savings in solar panels. Being that it’s a private company paying for it instead of taxpayer money, I think it’s a great way to get the solar panels. If it were the district paying for it, then I would agree with you.

      1. I'm Just Sayin' says:

        Citizen, Let me guess you are left leeaning? Pretty strong statement there that “as long as someone else pays for it and it benefits my cause, then I am all for it.”…. Versus if that money was invested in making all solar more affordable and efficient all of the world society would benefit.

        1. Citizen says:

          No actually. In looking at it from the school districts view, kudos for them in partnering with a private company to make improvements to the building. It can be argued whether solar energy is a worthwhile investment, I agree. But the basic principal of a private business partnering with a school district recieves kudos from me.

  2. just sayin says:

    And just how much do these panels cost? Please, tell us, how much does this cost the tax payers?

    I bet you it’s more than 1 million.

    1. swmnguy says:

      From the article, and it’s a very short article so this is about a quarter of it: “Boston Scientific is going to pay to install rooftop solar panels on the community gymnasium.”

      So it’s going to SAVE school budget money for electricity.

      1. Redneck Purist says:

        There is no free lunch. If a company donates anything, whether it’s labor or goods, they get a tax write-off. Plus they build the loss into the price of the products which costs us all. It’s like saying the insurance company pays to fix your car. YOU PAY.

        Plus, who actually thinks the solar panels will still be around in 20 years, let alone 40, to realize these energy savings? Doubt it. Think you’ll still have the same furnace in 20 years? Home many of you still use your Betamax VCR? Think the school will even be there in 20 years. If they tear it down, will the solar panels be salvaged? Doubt it. Do the panels produce or save as much as they claim? Doubt it. The manufacturer of my cell phone claims I should get several hours of talk time, and several days of stand by time out of the battery. Think I do?

        People fall for this stuff and rarely, if ever scrutinize the claims their proponents make. It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to see that solar power, pound for pound, dollar for dollar is about as profitable as light rail. If you want to argue that we should do it because it’s cleaner, therefore, we should pay more for that energy, that’s at least an honest argument. But please don’t keep trying to blow sunshine up our arses by calling it cost savings.

        1. swmnguy says:

          I don’t think a comparison to consumer electronics is appropriate. Yes, actually, I probably will be using my furnace for the next 20 years. My cell phone? Probably not. It’s very true that this is unproven technology and the claims need to be proven. I just put a sheet-metal roof on my house, with a 50 year guarantee. We’ll see about that. Should I have used cheap asphalt shingles because they have an established track record, despite that fact that a newish shingle roof on my house was leaking due to some complications of the home’s design?

          I don’t have any idea whether or not the Minneapolis Public Schools will tear down Edison High School in 20 years. Would we be having the same discussion if Boston Scientific had donated a new gas-fired boiler to Edison High?

          While we can’t see into the future, many arguments against solar power are based on an assumption that today’s economic conditions will continue far into the future. I’ve never found that to be a sound proposition. 4 years ago people were saying that despite high housing prices, residential real estate was still a good deal because prices will only go up. 10 years ago $3.59 gasoline would have been taken as one of the signs of the apocalypse.

          Coal, Natural Gas and Petroleum are all priced and sold via the international Futures Markets. Global financial events have a huge impact on those prices. A full-blown European banking crisis could easily drive large investors into energy resource futures as a safe haven, which could drive costs up sharply. Most US electricity is generated with coal or natural gas. A price spike in electricity is not out of the question in the coming decade. Why not use a private corporation’s donation to make a hedge bet locking in electricity from a source that will probably be there for a long, long, time?

  3. swmnguy says:

    Solar panels cost a lot right now. With available rebates and tax credits it’s about a 10-15 year return on investments. Without rebates and tax credits, they pay for themselves in about 25 years, which is the estimated life of most solar panels.

    So at today’s energy prices and today’s solar panel costs it’s a wash.

    How many people want to bet that, in dollar terms, electricity is going to stay the same price or get cheaper over the next 20 years? As the technology develops, solar panels will get cheaper, as happens in all industries. Already it’s a wash if you’ve got the money upfront. As panel costs drop and electricity prices rise, the Return On Investment will get better and better. Or, at least, that’s the bet I’m making with my own money on my house.

  4. what!?! says:

    It is so amazing that so many can take a great story like this and turn it into one big turd. C’mon. This is a good thing.. A private company investing green technology in a public school… Win Win…

  5. Robert Moffitt says:

    I agree, what!?! There have been a lot of nay-sayers around here lately. It’s a win for everyone.