New Holland-Middletown Elementary District 88 recently completed the installation of a solar photovoltaic panel on the south side of its elementary campus. Funded by a 90% grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, this program makes science fun and teaches students how their everyday actions can positively impact the environment.
Installed less than a month ago by Microgrid Energy, this array of 23-degree panels is powered by 4 microinverters that convert sunlight into energy. Already in its infancy, this program has resulted in 44 kilowatt-hours of energy production from a free and renewable resource. According to District 88 Superintendent Todd Dugan, one of the most appealing aspects of the program is the online monitoring piece that provides “real-time data on the amount of electricity begin generated. Annually, we’ll be able to generate about 1,200 kWh of electricity and avoid 1,350 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions. Not only is it exciting to teach future generations the importance of being good stewards of the environment, but hopefully this will be a trend where more schools can go ‘green’ without going ‘red.’”
Miss Hannah Durchholz, the Jr. High Science and STEM teacher, recently attended a training geared toward the inclusion of the solar production in STEM (science technology engineering and math) classes. As of the date of this press release, NH-M’s small awning of panels has already produced the equivalent amount of energy required to drive 2 laps at the Monaco Grand Prix, or charging a mobile phone for 17 months, lighting the Eiffel Tower for 13 minutes, or running a refrigerator for 10 days. These real-life examples of NH-M’s offset production are provided daily via their monitoring system, Enlighten. For more information on NH-M and other solar-powered schools, please visit http://www.illinoissolarschools.org