Powered by the sun


It won't be long before solar panels adorn the roof over Maple Lake Elementary School. The district is taking advantage of a government solar incentive program that promises a more environmentally friendly and efficient way of producing electricity. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

Maple Lake Schools is taking steps toward a more environmentally friendly and efficient way of producing electricity.
By the time classes start on Tuesday, Sept. 5, an array of solar panels will adorn the roof over the elementary gymnasium, gathering energy from the sun to convert it to electricity to power necessities like lights, air conditioning and heat.
Maple Lake has been trying for a couple of years to take part in the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive program where schools are selected via a lottery to participate. There are no up-front costs and everything, including installation, maintenance and operation of the array, is taken care of by an overseeing company. In Maple Lake's case that company is Ideal Energies.
According to Brad Neutz, head of building and grounds at Maple Lake Schools, the Annandale School District has been benefiting from the program for several years.

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