St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) March 28, 2013
The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) is investing more than $500,000 for the installation of solar panels and other energy efficiency upgrades at Herculaneum High School, part of the Dunklin R-V School District. The energy efficiency project is projected to save Dunklin R-V School District more than $27,000 in annual energy costs and more than $1.3 million during the project’s lifetime.
“At Doe Run, it is important to us that we provide enduring benefits to the communities in which we operate,” said Gary Hughes, general manager of Doe Run’s Primary Smelting Division. “One way to do this is to help vital services, such as local school districts, become more sustainable. The energy efficiency project will save the school district money, give students an opportunity to learn about renewable energy, and prepare students for potential careers in this growing field.”
The energy savings project is the result of a thorough energy audit conducted by Doe Run and Missouri-based Microgrid Energy to identify improvements that would create the greatest benefit for the high school. The team identified opportunities to upgrade the HVAC system and replace interior and exterior lighting fixtures with LED lighting or more efficient fluorescent lighting. With these and other improvements, the renewable energy generated by the solar array will represent a higher offset to the school’s energy bill.
The first phase of the project – solar panel installation – is slated to begin in May and finish by the end of the summer. The panels will be located on the roofs of Herculaneum High School’s classrooms, main school building and fine arts building. Two additional solar power canopies will be installed on the top deck of the football stadium grandstand and near the main parking lot to provide shade and collect additional energy. The HVAC and lighting upgrades also will be completed during the summer.
“Our goal was to introduce renewable energy sources to the school, while also improving the efficiency of the facility’s lighting and HVAC systems,” said Steve O’Rourke, vice president of consulting services at Microgrid Energy. “Once these projects are completed, the school will save on monthly utilities, and the cost savings will continue to grow as electric rates increase.”
Part of the energy created from the solar arrays will be stored in lead-acid batteries, which can be used to supplement grid power as needed. Approximately 90 percent of the lead metal Doe Run produces is used in lead-acid batteries such as these for energy storage in renewable energy applications, vehicles and telecommunications.
Herculaneum High School students will learn about responsible energy use by analyzing the data from the project’s performance monitoring system. Students will be able to monitor each building’s energy use and compare how much energy each solar array produces. In addition, Missouri University of Science and Technology graduate student Brian Peterson, who has been working closely with Microgrid to analyze potential energy storage solutions, will create curriculum to help Herculaneum High School teachers explain how lead-acid batteries can be used with renewable energy systems to optimize energy savings.
“We’re grateful to Doe Run for the ongoing support they provide for our district,” said Stan Stratton, Dunklin R-V School District superintendent. “Renewable and efficient energy sources are becoming increasingly important in our world, so it is exciting that we have the opportunity to introduce these concepts to our students, who will be tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and electricians.”
Doe Run’s $500,000 investment is one of several community-based, environmental projects that the company has planned as part of their landmark agreement with the EPA. Already, the company has committed to other environmental improvements for area schools, including retrofitting bus fleets to decrease their carbon footprint and improving environmental practices in science labs.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and the largest integrated lead producer in the Western Hemisphere. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling facilities, located in Boss, Mo. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.doerun.com.