Green Schools | News

Ontario High School Goes Solar

O'Gorman High School of Timmins, ON, Canada has implemented a solar energy system aimed at reducing the school's carbon footprint while reducing utility costs. With the help of funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education (OME) and the expertise of engineers and energy specialists at Honeywell, the Northeastern Catholic School District (NCSD) has provided O'Gorman with a 11.04-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic solar panel array, as well as a sustainability information system (SIS) that will allow monitoring of solar energy production and use and give students and teachers a live energy laboratory with up-to-the-minute data.

"This new state of the art computer terminal will give our student hands on access to real time energy saving, along with their energy consumption, so they can see where reducing energy use will benefit their school," explained NCDSB Facility Manager Bob Landry.

According to Honeywell, the project will achieve both of the school's intended goals. The nearly 12,500 kilowatt-hours the system generates each year will translate to roughly $69,000 in cost savings. Additionally, replacing fossil fuel with solar power to generate such quantity of electricity will remove 229 metric tons of greenhouse gases from the environment per year, the equivalent of removing 36 cars from the road.

The district funded the project with a $212,351 (Canadian) grant from the OME 2009 Renewable Energy Funding for Schools initiative, which supports the installation of projects under the energy categories of solar photovoltaic, solar air heating, solar water heating, geothermal, and small or micro wind.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.