Queen Elizabeth Secondary principal Mike Jellema will have lower heating bills to pay this year

QE Secondary: Here comes the sun

Solar panels at North Surrey school and three other locations will reduce natural gas consumption and heating bills.

The Surrey School District is harnessing the power of the sun.

Queen Elizabeth Secondary is the first of four secondary schools in the district to be fitted with massive solar panels on the building’s exterior. The 210-square-metre solar wall will use the sun’s energy to heat the school, reducing natural gas consumption by 8.1 per cent.

The wall is being installed by Rocky Point Engineering at the North Surrey this week; three more solar walls will be installed at Semiahmoo, Elgin and Fleetwood Park secondaries over the next month.

Combined, the solar panels will save the district about 1,726 gigajoules of energy per year, which translates to an annual savings of about $21,924.

The cost of the project is being shared by the district ($300,000) and the B.C. government’s Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement ($334,000).