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Eleven Knox County Schools save money using solar panels

There’s more than 800 of them on the roof of the gym, cafeteria and auditorium of South Doyle Middle School.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Sitting on top of the roofs at eleven Knox County Schools and three Knox County buildings are hundreds of solar panels.

There’s more than 800 of them on the roof of the gym, cafeteria and auditorium of South Doyle Middle School.

The solar panels collect light to help create electricity, powering the lights, water fountains, exit signs and more.

The up-front costs were high, around $12,000,000, but they’re saving at least half a million dollars every year. Over time they’ll actually be saving money.

“It makes us very proud on Earth Day to be able to say we’re saving $500,000 but also generating 7,000,000 kilowatt hours of green energy that doesn’t have any greenhouse gas emissions or any pollutants. We’re helping to clean the Tennessee Valley,” said Zane Foraker, Knox County Schools’ Energy Manager.

Let’s play a game! How many solar panels are on the roof of South Doyle Middle School? Hint: this is just one section....

Posted by Ashley Bohle WVLT on Thursday, April 22, 2021

Maintenance staff check quarterly to make sure everything is working the way it should.

The panels are on the roofs of the buildings in case schools needed to expand on their property they have room to do so.

The schools that have solar panels include:

-A.L. Lotts Elementary

-Amherst Elementary

-Bearden Middle

-Central High

-Hardin Valley Academy

-Karns High

-L&N STEM Academy

-Powell Middle

-South Doyle Middle

-West High

-West Valley Middle

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