STEAD, Nev. — New solar panels are helping a Washoe County elementary school turn energy savings into classroom computers.

Officials for NV Energy and the Washoe County School District gathered at Stead Elementary School north of Reno on Friday to celebrate a partnership that’s saved more than $16,000 annually since the solar panels were activated two years ago.

Twenty-five percent of the savings is used to maintain the system. But the school gets to keep the rest.

It spent more than $12,000 last year to purchase 34 HP laptop computers.

The district is currently meeting 12 percent of its energy consumption from solar installations at 35 schools like the one in Stead.

Jason Geddes, coordinator of the district’s energy conservation program, says students are learning a valuable lesson about the positive impact renewable energy can have on their lives.