Solar panels unveiled during ceremony at Carson High School |

Solar panels unveiled during ceremony at Carson High School

Teri Vance
Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal

Taking a drive along the freeway through Carson City, said Mark Korinek, it is apparent what the town values.

“As you drive, you’ll see the 1.2-megawatt solar array at the National Guard,” he said. “Then you’ll see the 300-kilowatt array at Eagle Valley Middle School.”

Korinek, operations manager for the Carson City School District, went on to list solar arrays on state and city buildings and more planned to be built at Western Nevada College.

Those, combined with the 9,604 photovoltaic solar panels installed at five schools throughout the district, create about 4 megawatts of power.

“I believe, per capita, we could call Carson City ‘Solar City,'” he told the crowd gathered Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the 195,000 square feet of solar arrays installed throughout the district.

The ceremony was held next to the five acres of photovoltaic panels at Carson High School, Nevada’s largest site-servicing solar project.

“What a great privilege and honor it is to be mayor of Solar City,” said Mayor Bob Crowell. “This is what Nevada is all about, and this is what Carson City is all about.”

The project came to fruition with a partnership between the Carson City School District and Reno’s Hamilton Solar Inc.

Representatives for Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., presented both organizations with letters of commendation.

“(Heller) loves the partnership element that went into this,” said Pam Robinson.

Richard Stokes, superintendent of the Carson City School District, likened solar energy to the “black gold” discovered by the Beverly Hillbillies.

“In this great Nevada sun, we have the ability to generate electricity that will generate money that can be used in the classrooms, paying teacher salaries, and growing curriculum. It’s really going to be a tremendous boon for the Carson City School District,” he said.

A rebate through NV Energy reduced the district’s $11 million bill for the project to $1.25 million.

Korinek said the panels are expected save about 3 million kilowatt-hours per year, which, depending on energy costs, could be about $400,000 annually.