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STATEWIDE — The founder of a brand new Solar Energy company is using schools to advance his model of using solar power to save you money on your energy bill.

Kelly Hipskind is the co-founder of Sun FundEd, which is a company that right now works with schools to help them save on their energy costs by building and operating solar farms on their campuses. Hipskind told Indy Politics their product is a good introductory course to people who may not understand solar energy.

“There are some people in Indiana who still believe solar energy doesn’t work,” Hipskind said. “The cost of solar has come down 99-percent since 1977. For two minutes (of sunlight) that hits the (entire) Earth, that’s enough energy to power everything in the world for a year.”

Hipskind said solar has quietly become the cheapest form of energy in the world. In keeping with that theme, Hipskind and his company are out to save schools money on their bottom line.

“Public education accounts for 55-percent of the state budget (in Indiana),” he said. “The second highest line item for schools is power.”

Under their model, they develop, operate, and maintain solar farms on school campuses that provide power to their facilities. But instead of charging by the kilowatt, like traditional power companies, they charge the schools a flat rate.

Hipskind said they are able to save schools around 20-percent on their power bills in their first year. Right now they have contracts with Taylor University, Indiana Wesleyan, Indiana Tech, and Valparaiso. They hope to help out public school corporations in Indiana as well, which they are already doing in Michigan.