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Published on April 3rd, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

6

Bringing Solar To Schools Across The US

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April 3rd, 2014 by
 

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seia 40 yearsBOSTON – Nonprofit organizations and solar companies from across the nation today announced the launch of the National Solar Schools Consortium at the widely-attended National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference, which began today in Boston.

The goal of the Consortium is to act as a unified voice for the growing solar schools movement, promoting the use of solar energy on K-12 and post-secondary schools, consolidating and coordinating current and future solar curriculum and resource development, and providing tools designed to help schools explore solar energy options both on campus and in the surrounding community.

“It’s estimated that thousands of schools across America have already installed solar panels – but tens of thousands of others are still tethered to fossil fuels,” said Prof. Sharon Dannels, Chair of the Educational Leadership Department at the GW Graduate School of Education and Human Development. “According to a recent study of California schools, an average-sized 313-kilowatt solar system prevents the emission of an estimated 200 pounds of smog-forming pollution a year.”

To kick off its efforts, Consortium representatives will be presenting at several workshops at the NSTA Conference, held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. During these presentations, teachers and other education professionals will be encouraged to share their needs for expanding access to solar energy and related educational resources for their schools. Interested stakeholders can also communicate these needs by completing a brief form on the Consortium website, www.solarschools2020.org.

“More and more schools across the country are discovering the benefits of going solar,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, creating thousands of new jobs, pumping billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and helping to reduce pollution.  For schools, solar can provide a curriculum where science, economics and the environment all intersect. SEIA is honored to be part of the National Solar Schools Consortium.”

The Consortium comprises representatives of leading environmental, educational, and solar-focused non-profit organizations, as well as for-profit solar businesses. Founding Consortium members include the Brian D. Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund, Community Power Network, Elephant Energy, the Foundation for Environmental Education, KidWind, Make It Right Solar, Mosaic, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Solar Energy Industries Association, The Solar Foundation, SolSolution, The Three Birds Foundation, and Women in Solar. For more information on joining the Consortium, contact Andrea Luecke at aluecke@solarfound.org.

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  • Larry

    Nice promotional news release, but short on data. “Big Box” buildings (like schools) have enormous potential to develop their solar resources and cut their operating expenses. Outside of teacher and administrator salaries, the operational expenses (like lighting all the classrooms, offices, etc) and operating all the high tech electrical equipment (computers, copiers, etc.) are significant and could be substantially reduced by full implementation of solar P V on the facility roofs.

  • RamboSTiTCH

    The article says “an average-sized 313-kilowatt solar system prevents the emission of an estimated 200 pounds of smog-forming pollution a year.”

    Burning 5 tons of coal releases 15,000 pounds of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere (artisanelectricinc.com). So 200 pounds of greenhouse gasses equals about 134 pounds of coal. You are telling me these schools can run on 134 pounds of coal each year?

    • Chuck

      I’m questioning the ‘average sized 313 kw solar system’ part. I just had a 3.3 kw system installed last November (12 panels). A 313 kw system would require over a thousand panels – pretty big in my book!

      • Troy Frank

        I think they meant average sized for a school, not for a personal residence. I don’t know if that even makes it accurate, but it sounds more plausible

      • Otis11

        That’s the current average size of California grade schools that already have solar power. And it doesn’t (Necessarily) replace all their usage, but it replaces some of it.

    • Omega Centauri

      I think they meant some restricted toxic form of pollution, such as particulates, and not the CO2. They should have stated that.

      As to the system size, remember the average school is much bigger than a house, and typically serves hundreds to a few thousand students.

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