ST. LOUIS — In collaboration with The Doe Run Co., St. Louis-based Microgrid Solar has partnered to provide solar and energy efficiency upgrades at Herculaneum High School (HHS). Starting with conducting an energy audit of the high school campus, Microgrid recommended the following projects for Doe Run to fund as part of several environmental investments it is making in the community:

• 75 kilowatts (kW) of solar capacity, including 25 kW rooftop arrays on the gymnasium and fine arts building, a 13 kW array with a battery storage component on the main building, and 6 kW solar canopies on the football stadium grandstand and cafeteria courtyard.

• HVAC upgrades, including a new variable air volume air handler in the D-Wing of the main building, and a new high-efficiency boiler to heat the building.

• Interior lighting upgrades to replace all T12 fluorescent lamps with new, energy-efficient T8 lamps, including new fixtures where feasible. In addition, metal halide lights in the industrial arts shop and gymnasium were replaced with T5 high-output fluorescent fixtures, and incandescent exit signs were replaced with LED fixtures.

• Exterior lighting upgrades, including the replacement of metal halide fixtures on the building walls and parking lots with new, high-efficiency LED fixtures. These new fixtures will not only provide significant energy savings, but will also save maintenance costs because the lamps have a 15-year life versus a 3- to 5-year life for the metal halide lamps and ballasts.

With the completion of the project, the solar, HVAC, and lighting upgrades are projected to save the school more than $44,000 annually.

Steve O’Rourke, vice president of consulting services at Microgrid Solar said, “It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Doe Run and Herculaneum High School on this project. This is a great educational opportunity and an excellent demonstration of how to combine renewable energy and energy efficiency to save the school over $2 million over the projected lifetime.”

Doe Run funded the entire project, so HHS had no costs associated with the upgrades. Managing the entire project, Microgrid was responsible for the design, structural engineering, procurement of equipment, and construction of the solar arrays, as well as coordinating the engineers and contractors to design and install the equipment. The solar arrays will be maintained and monitored by Microgrid over a 20-year period using a prepaid lease funded by Doe Run.

“We believe in providing our communities with support that brings a lasting benefit,” said Gary Hughes, general manager of Doe Run’s Metals Division. “We appreciate all that Microgrid Solar has done to deliver not only long-term cost savings to Herculaneum High School, but also give students an opportunity to learn about renewable energy and potential careers in a growing field.”

Along with the efficiency upgrades, Microgrid also worked with Missouri University of Science & Technology to create relevant educational content for HHS. This included a research project to analyze the technical and financial viability of a variety of energy storage systems used in conjunction with renewable energy, along with the presentation of research findings via a published paper. Said Rick Hunter, founder and CEO of Microgrid, “This is a great educational tool to help students understand how solar works, and the highly visible solar canopies give the community a chance to see how solar can blend into the high school campus.”

“The Dunklin R-V School District is grateful to The Doe Run Company for their donation for the solar project at Herculaneum High School. We look forward to the energy savings it provides to the district,” said Stan Stratton, superintendent, Dunklin R-V School District.

HVAC engineering was done by Dynamic Engineered Systems, and the Sheet Metal Contractors Inc. completed the installation. Lighting engineering was done by Lighting Associates, with the equipment supplied by Metro Lighting and installed by Akron Electric. Solar design work was done by Microgrid Solar, with Schaller Design Group creating a custom-designed and built canopy structure on the football stadium grandstands. Kaemmerlen Electric installed all of the solar arrays under the guidance of Microgrid.

For more information on The Doe Run Company, visit For more information about Microgrid Solar, visit

Publication date: 1/6/2014