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Solar Goes Elementary with 100 kW School Installation

When it comes to putting alternative energy to work, size often matters. But tiny Starksboro, VT (pop. 1,944) has proved this isn't always the case. The town's Robinson Elementary School, in partnership with AllEarth Renewables (AER), has installed 25 solar trackers on a field adjacent to the school, which combine to form a 100 kilowatt photovoltaic array, providing enough electricity each year to power both the school and the Starksboro town offices.

The AllSun solar trackers, which connect to the electricity grid that supports both buildings, are solar panels mounted on poles. A GPS and dual-axis rotation system automatically adjust the angle of the panels to capture the sun's rays throughout the day.

"We are especially excited about this project as it is the largest one we have completed for a school," said a spokesperson for AER. She noted that, in addition to the practical benefits of such a project, such an innovation at a school facility will have a long term psychic benefit as well. "The students will grow up with the idea that solar power is, and should be, a regular part of their everyday lives."

"With schools, you need to have more than one reason to do something, and this project helps us reach multiple goals at once," said Dan Noel, principal of Robinson Elementary. "It fits perfectly with our goal of reducing our environmental footprint, gives a hands-on focus to the energy curriculum, and will save the school money in the long-term as we have locked in our electric rate for at least the next five years."

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.

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