In the fall of 2016, a few Dickson parents got together with Sundance Power Systems, Inc. and the Western North Carolina Green Building Council to develop a plan to realize the vision of getting rooftop solar on Isaac Dickson Elementary School. The vision was for a community-based system that would ultimately be owned by Asheville City Schools. This vision provides the greatest energy cost savings for Isaac Dickson Elementary and fulfills the architects’ vision of IDES as a net-zero carbon emissions public school. A draft proposal was presented to the general PTO in December 2016 and to the then school board chair Peggy Dalman. Following feedback from the school board chair, the draft proposal was revised slightly and presented to the full school board during their work session on January 30, 2017. After some deliberation, the school board granted Isaac Dickson PTO the green light to proceed with fundraising. If the partnership of the WNC Green Building Council, Sundance and IDES PTO is successful in raising the $200,000 funding gap to make the project viable, private investors can be secured to fund the rest of the costs and a lease agreement will be developed between Isaac Dickson Solar, LLC and Asheville City Schools. The Asheville City School Board will then formally vote on whether to accept the terms of the lease agreement. The investors that make up Isaac Dickson Solar, LLC will then own the system for approximately 7 years and thereafter turn the system over to Asheville City Schools at no cost.
IDES Solar Project Announcement for the Mountain XPress for April 2017 weekly editions from WNC Green Building Council