People who have been following the paper will recall that several of the schools in Westmoreland County are having solar plants constructed nearby, with Cople Elementary being one of the first schools to go through with it as a guinea pig. In the last school board meeting before the Christmas break, School Board Superintendent Dr. Perry showed precisely how far progress had come. The project was more or less finished at Cople, with the final step held back due to weather concerns.
“A lot has been done since they started,” he explained, first showing a slide of the ground before it had been worked on. The next slides showed row after row of solar panel poles, some bearing slats, some were bare, until finally, there were poles bearing panels. However, there was far more to this than just installing solar panels. Fencing also had to be set up or replaced around the site.
“They aren’t just putting up the panels; one of the things in the contract was that they had to build fencing around the entire area. So we were able to get fencing built around the entire site. It wasn’t for free, but they did a great job of putting it up.”
The fence itself was about six feet tall, with barbed wire along the top, except for the side of the fence that separated the solar facility from the school grounds.
At the time of the update, Cople’s solar facility had not been interconnected due to the rain that had been hitting the area. However, the interconnection would be attempted this month, if it has not been already.