ST. ALBANS — St. Albans Town Educational Center (SATEC) is going solar.

Once installed, their 640 kW system will produce enough electricity to fully offset the school’s electricity needs and then some, according to SunCommon, a solar company based in Waterbury. The excess solar credits will be used toward offsetting a portion of Bellows Free Academy’s electric bills.

SunCommon installation crewmembers were up on the school’s roof Tuesday morning laying panels into place.

The 1,860-panel solar array is expected to be complete by the beginning of the school year, at which time SATEC will boast the largest rooftop solar project on a school in Vermont.

SATEC Principal Angela Stebbins said the conversation about shifting to solar began a year and a half ago, when St. Albans resident and solar project consultant at SunCommon Mike McCarthy stopped by a school board meeting.

“I drive by SATEC every day and see a great rooftop for solar,” said McCarthy. “I’m thrilled to be able to help my local school with a solar project that benefits the school, the community and most importantly, our students.”

He said the system reduces SATEC’s electric bill at no upfront cost to the school, due to an investor putting up the capital for the project. McCarthy said it wouldn’t work otherwise because the school would not able to afford purchasing one of these projects on its own.

For more on the SATEC solar project, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.