Tesla Adds to a Greener Campus

After constructing an award-winning biomass facility and purchasing Fairfield Farm, the school took another step towards a green and sustainable campus by planning to install a solar array. At the start of November, Mr. John Bryant, director of facilities, first announced that town agencies had approved a solar array installation on the school campus. Construction of the array, designed by Tesla, will soon be underway north of the Class of ’49 Fields.

Mr. John Tuke, the school’s former chief financial officer, along with Mr. Bryant as the technical operator, spearheaded the project after the team observed the benefits of the solar panels installed on the roof of the grange at the Fairfield Farm. These panels provide enough energy to power the whole farm. Ever since crafting the first plan for the array in 2016, the team researched several power providers and ultimately chose Solar City, one of the largest companies in the industry now acquired by Tesla Inc. After choosing the designer, the plan went through an application, public hearing, and approval process by the Inland and Wetland Conservation Commission of Salisbury. Mr. Bryant said, “After the application process, many sites were considered for the array. But the site near the ’49 Fields was chosen for its remote location, privacy, exposure to the sun, and the fact that it was not being used for another purpose.”

Mr. Bryant expects major portions of the construction to take place during November and December, save potential delay caused by winter weather. Once installed, the solar panel array will generate approximately 514 kilowatts of electricity, which will provide approximately 27 percent of the Forrest E. Mars Jr. Athletic Center’s power usage. The school expects the solar array to reduce energy costs by an estimated one million dollars over 20 years. Mr. Bryant said, “This clean renewable power will save the school money and will also prevent the emissions of considerable amount of greenhouse gasses.”