DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The Dublin High School Fighting Irish are living up to their school color as they go green with a new solar energy power plant.
You can't tell be looking at them, but the classrooms at Dublin High are powered by the sun.
"If its daytime and the sun [is] shining, or even if the sun [is] not shining, if its daytime and its cloudy, it's producing electricity," Dublin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter said.
All of the electricity is coming from a new power plant at the high school. The 5,000 solar panels located on the roofs and in front of the school produce enough electricity to power the entire campus.
"We know long term it's a good idea and we're looking forward to seeing just exactly how it will work and how we can maximize our cost savings," Dr. Ledbetter said.
Ledbetter says the project cost the school district $7.5 million. He adds these panels aren't just producing energy, but also generating big savings.
"We won't tell a difference, its just all of a sudden where we'll see the difference is on our bill," Dr. Ledbetter told 41NBC. "The life of the actual power plant is 40 years and over the life, over that 40 year term, we'll save somewhere in between $12 and $30 million for the taxpayers of Dublin."
Dublin High School Principal Robert Hunter says plans are in the works for students to get a first hand lesson on solar energy.
"We can actually see it outside, and of course on the roof, and the the students can really see what's happening with the project," Hunter said.
As construction wraps up, Ledbetter says he is proud to be a part of a city that is making strides in solar power.
"I think it sends a message that our community is forward thinking and moving forward and looking to constantly improve," he said.
Dr. Ledbetter says the power plant should be completely online in just a few days.
On days where it is rainy or overcast, Dublin High won't be in a blackout. Instead, it will buy energy from Georgia Power like normal.
Students head back to school on Wednesday.