GREENVILLE – The City of Greenville, the Greenville Public Schools and Energy Works Michigan welcomed Governor Jennifer Granholm to this western Michigan community Monday to view the city’s ambitious $28 million GreenERville Project, to install made-in-Michigan solar panels on all municipal and school district facilities.
Some $2.5 million has already been raised to pay for installations at Greenville’s city hall, community center, waste water treatment plant, drinking well field, airport, and two Greenville public school buildings.
The photovoltaic solar panels used in the installations are produced in Greenville by United Solar Ovonic, one of the nation’s leading suppliers of renewable energy equipment.
Energy Works Michigan, with support from the Michigan Public Service Commission, provides assistance to renewable energy and energy conservation projects at school facilities throughout the state. Energy Works has provided a $180,000 grant for a solar power installation at Greenville Elementary School and will also provide energy monitoring software, lesson plans and professional development for teachers.
“Today was a great opportunity to show Gov. Granholm what we’ve accomplished so far, and to discuss our long-range plan to become Michigan’s first all-solar city and all solar school district,” said Greenville City Manager George Bosanic.
“We’re protecting the environment, saving money for taxpayers, and educating our children about the next generation of green technologies, which will be an important source of future employment,” said Greenville Superintendent of Schools Peter Haines. “It’s a winning strategy on every level.”
Renewable energy installations are expected to reduce energy use for the city and school district by 10 percent in 2010. When fully implemented, the all-solar city and all-solar school district will allow the two jurisdictions to eliminate some $670,000 in annual utility bills.