The summer of 2011 proved to be the busiest of times for school construction of solar energy projects, a growing trend among the nation's school districts to reduce their electricity costs by switching to renewable energy. Thanks to a variety of creative financing options, school districts are discovering that they can install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that turn sunlight directly into electricity and hedge against rising utility rates without spending any scarce capital.
The Buckeye Union High School District has launched a 4.29 megawatt solar project to be financed and maintained by Harrison, NY-based Regeneration Finance LLC.
The 2012 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is now accepting submissions. The competition calls on students in kindergarten through high school to develop environmental solutions for their schools, homes, and communities for a chance to win prizes for themselves and grants for their schools.
In a challenging economic environment, school districts are looking for ways to manage their transportation costs, reduce carbon footprints, and maintain student safety. Technology, including global positioning systems and software, is leading the effort.
Cloud computing is touted as a "green" technology, but this claim fails to take into consideration the full environmental impact of the scalable resource. The energy savings a school can experience by reducing its hardware can be significant, but other environmental factors must also be addressed if the traditional green claims are declared valid.
Global Green USA and Pureology have launched a new competition that will award five schools with funds to implement energy and environmental upgrades on their campuses.
The Army National Guard’s Mobile Learning Center Program is coming to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. The interactive program is designed to raise math and science literacy and tours throughout the country.
- By Mike Hohenbrink
Buckeye Elementary School District in Arizona has begun construction on a 3.26-megwatt photovoltaic solar project.
Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, MI will host a 400-kilowatt solar array as part of a 20-year agreement with DTE Energy.
BenQ will release the MX850UST, an energy-efficient DLP projector with a contrast ratio of 13,000:1, this August.
The East Side Union High School District in California has completed a solar energy project that will generate $43 million in energy savings over 25 years.
Hamden High School in Connecticut is installing a 400-kilowatt fuel cell to provide 90 percent of its electricity needs.
George Washington Carver Elementary School in Lexington Park, MD will formally activate a 2,100-panel solar energy system May 3.
The United States Department of Education has launched a new program to recognize schools for their sustainability efforts.
The Mountain View Los Altos High School District in California has nearly completed construction of a 1.26 megawatt solar photovoltaic system.