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FARMINGTON — Officials with the Aztec Municipal School District hope a new solar project will help the district save money and provide additional funds to invest in its classrooms.

Superintendent Kirk Carpenter said the district's first solar project is expected to be operating by the end of this month. The district has developed a solar array on the roofs of its bus barn facility.

At its meeting last week, the Aztec school district approved a contract for the solar project. Now, the Aztec City Commission will discuss a solar power agreement with the school district during the commission meeting on Tuesday.

Because the district cannot consistently produce enough power for the entire building, it needs a contract with the city to hook into the grid, said City Manager Josh Ray.

The agreement with the district would allow it to purchase power from the city at the same rate it currently pays. If the solar project generates more energy than the district needs, the city would purchase the power at the same rate it pays Guzman Energy for power under its new electric contract.

"It will have a financial impact for the electric utility," Ray said.

Ray said the school district is not the first entity to apply for a solar agreement. Hyrdropure Technology Inc., located on South Light Plant Road, also has a solar agreement with the city. Ray said the city also has a couple of residential customers with solar agreements.

"We're very excited that they're building this project," Ray said, referring to the school district's project.

Carpenter said this is the first of several projects the district has planned.

“It’s a smaller project,” Carpenter said. “We have plans for looking at larger projects.”

He said future projects could include installing solar panels on the roofs of other district buildings and possibly a solar farm near McCoy Elementary School.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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