Community solar garden (copy)

Mankato Public Schools is saving $43,000 annually from investing in solar gardens. 

MANKATO — The Mankato Area Public School District will be getting a bigger return on its investment in solar energy.

In 2016 the School Board approved a contract with what now is Geronimo Energy to partner in two new solar gardens — one near Courtland and another between Mankato and Mapleton.

In exchange for an annual payment to help Geronimo Energy fund the solar gardens, the district receives rebates from Xcel Energy.

Last school year the district saw a net savings of over $37,000, Director of Business Services Tom Sager told the Mankato School Board Monday night.

A shift in federal requirements is now allowing the district to collect more rebates without any additional investment, Sager said. The School Board approved an updated contact with Geronimo Energy to include the change. The district is now expected to save nearly $43,000 annually through the partnership.

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