BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Three more Greene County schools will soon feature solar panel systems following a called meeting of the Greene County Board of Education on Thursday.
The board voted unanimously to approve the additional solar panel systems after contract negotiations, led by County Attorney Roger Woolsey, addressed liability and maintenance concerns.
John Atkins Jr., of TerraShares, the company that will own two of the three systems, said that his company will pay for the maintenance of the grounds under and immediately around all solar panels systems placed on school property.
Woolsey also confirmed for the board that any damage that occurs to the panels while on school property must be "intentional or negligent" on the part of school system employees in order for the system to have to pay for damages.
The companies maintaining ownership of the systems for investors will, in turn, be responsible for any damage the solar panels cause to school grounds.
The largest of the systems will go on the roof of Mosheim Middle School and be owned by Greene Solar One LLC.
The remaining 10 KW systems, owned by TerraShares, will go on Baileyton and Nolachuckey Elementary School grounds.
Solar panel systems are already present on the grounds of other Greene County schools, including Chuckey-Doak and South Greene high schools and Doak Elementary School.
The electricity generated by the solar panels provide the school system with significant discounts on the schools' monthly electric bills.
The school system forwards most of the savings to investors but retains a small portion of the savings.
School System Energy Specialist Steve Tipton said that, with the new additions, the savings to the school system on its electric bills will total about $10,600 annually.