SOLAR INSTALLATION AT

School House Apartments

$1,019,226

25 Year Utility Savings

300 kW

Project Size

Fort Madison, IA

Location

403,192 kWh

Annual Production

6,905 t CO₂

Emission Reduction

Award-Winning Affordable Housing Project Gets a Boost with Solar

School House Apartments Case Study

Derelict school buildings dot the prairie in Iowa’s small towns. The Fort Madison Middle School was one of them until Todd Schneider, a southeast Iowa visionary, purchased and renovated it.

Built in 1922 and decommissioned in 2013, the Middle School almost ended up in a landfill: when Schneider got involved, the city was already accepting bids for its demolition. From his previous experience renovating a Catholic school, Schneider knew he could successfully transform the Middle School into high quality, affordable apartments.

The retrofit incorporated a 300 kW solar array (200 kW roof mount and 100 kW car port) which powers 37 apartments, each with a unique floor plan, ranging in price from $600 to $1,300, including all utilities and Internet service.

The project has attracted national attention and has received multiple awards since opening in 2016.

Project Awards

2016 Project of
the Year

Solar Builder
Magazine

2016 Project of
the Year

1000 Friends of Iowa
School House
Apartments

“The solar aspect set our project apart and helped us win competitive grant funds. You can’t do a building like this without funding. The amount of money you need to put into it for demolition and reconstruction, you just wouldn’t get a return. ”

Todd Schneider
Apartments Administrator

school house apartments todd

Project Gallery

Are you ready for the power shift?

Work with an Ideal Energy expert to discover how solar can give you a competitive edge

More Case Studies

Agri Industrial Solar Featured Image
Agri-Industrial Solar

Agri-Industrial Solar

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company’s power plant features a 517 kW roof-mounted solar array that works in tandem with a 212 kW Tesla Powerwall battery energy storage system. During the day, the solar panels generate energy which charges the Powerwall and powers the company’s advanced manufacturing operations. The battery system runs on an artificially-intelligent control system to automatically...

Steffensmeier Welding Case Study Featured
Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing

Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing

Solar power has been a boon for Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing. Completed in 2016, the 430 kW solar field saves the company $8000 to $9000 per month. The savings have allowed Steffensmeier to invest in their employees, hire new workers, expand production, and give back to the community.

H&M Swine

H&M Swine

Completed 2018, the 73.44 solar installation at H&M Swine covers nearly 75% of the family pork production’s energy needs and will pay for itself in 4 years. This is a stellar example of how solar energy can is helping farming operations become more stable and profitable with predictable, low energy costs.