Ashland Middle School has a large solar array installed by True South Solar.

Ashland Middle School is now Powered by the Sun

Solar Powered Classrooms

The beginning of the academic school year brought new students, newly renovated buildings, and a brand-new solar array at Ashland Middle School. Our team is thrilled to help transition AMS to clean energy! Students today can look forward to learning powered by clean energy. The Ashland School District will reduce its electricity consumption, its carbon footprint, and will have an educational tool for students across the district.

The project is a 199-kilowatt (kW) system consisting of 370 solar panels, and each panel is 540 watts. Increased production was achieved by utilizing bi-facial solar panels. These unique solar panels generate energy from both the front and back, which allows for more energy produced within a given area.

This system will offset about 30-35% of Ashland Middle School’s historical electricity usage and about 12% of the district’s usage. These reductions will directly translate to significant cost savings. The ground-mounted array is on the campus’s south side by the soccer field near the Trails Elementary School parking lot. You may have noticed the array if you’ve traveled along the bike path near Ashland Middle School. Although there have been a couple solar projects in the Ashland School District in the past, this is the largest project by far.

Made Possible by the Community

The Ashland School District was able to complete this project because of a school bond that was passed by the community. In 2018, Ashland voters approved a $109 million bond levy to improve public schools. The bond included priorities for district-wide security improvements and upgrades. Infrastructure upgrades included HVAC systems, technology infrastructure, energy efficiency, seismic upgrades, and sustainable energy solutions. 

Renovations to Ashland Middle School accounted for about 9% in energy efficiency gains, reducing the schools operating costs.  Bond partners were Adroit Construction, HMK, Soderstrom, Arkitek, the City of Ashland, and Brightworks Sustainability. The Ashland School District aligned their sustainability goals with the City of Ashland’s Clean Energy Action Plan.

A bond committee was established to review the long-term needs of the school district related to the following goals:

  • Increase or improve health and safety
  • Prioritize flexibility and adaptability
  • Be sustainable and energy efficient
  • Promote inclusiveness
  • Promote financial stewardship
  • Standardize facility systems

The Ashland School District has plans to install a total of 500 kW of solar by 2024 through bond funding. This project was a huge step towards advancing the committee’s goals of being sustainable and energy efficient. Based on current projections, solar energy would produce almost 700,000 kWh of electricity each year. That’s about 20 percent of the district’s annual electricity load. Thanks to everyone in the community who made this project possible. Ashland Middle School will be producing clean renewable energy for students for decades to come!

Ashland Middle School