Bergkamp to propose solar panels at more schools

Maize High teacher Stan Bergkamp prepared to propose new stages of the solar panel project to the USD 266 Board on Feb. 14.



The solar panels near at Maize High provide part of the power used in Maize Career Academy.

Bridget Johnson, Fusion Editor

Maize High science teacher Stan Bergkamp plans to propose another stage of the Maize Solar Project at tonight’s school board meeting.

Bergkamp’s proposal calls for the second phase of the project to include solar panels at Pray-Woodman Elementary, Maize Elementary and potentially Maize South High School. 

The new system will expand on the importance of the current system in the school district and make it the leader in renewable energy in Kansas education. 

“It’s important  because it will give the district some financial stability and reduce the cost of electricity,” Bergkamp said. “It’s also important because the project sets an example to the students that Maize is a leader in renewable energy.”

Since 2019, Maize has had solar panels in a field west of the Maize Career Academy entrance. The project is the result of an idea Bergkamp first proposed to the school board in November 2017.

“So far the first system has saved over $80,000 in the two and a half years it has been in operation,” Bergkamp said. “The savings on the next system will depend on which option the Board of Education chooses to implement.”

If passed, the next stages would cover a portion of the electricity needed for all three of the buildings and essentially pay for themselves in a matter of years, Bergkamp said. Each year, this would save the schools around $30,000 and allow this money to be used in providing better education to students.

The system near Maize High School supplies energy for the Maize Career Academy. Although it cannot generate all of the electricity needed, it still saves the district a large sum of money. 

“The electricity that is generated supplies energy to the MCA hub,” Bergkamp says. “If the building isn’t using an excessive amount of electricity due to air conditioning or heating, the system will provide about 80% of the needed energy. But that value changes depending on the time of year.”

Bergkamp has raised $240,000 to fund the project since it started.  

“The money was donated by local businesses, alumni, current students and various fundraising activities,” he said.

To learn more about the project or to make a donation, visit the solar project website at