Learning from schools that save with solar
Many schools around the US are switching on to the benefits of solar energy.
First stop is Fresno, California where students have sent their administrators to the top of class for investing in solar power. Millions of dollars will be saved on energy and the money will be used to improve student facilities. “We specified high quality materials for the system like the CS6P-P panels from Canadian Solar, which contributed to the high quality of the project," said Don Ulrich, Assistant Superintendent or Facility Services for the Clovis Unified School District.
Regional voters had the foresight to authorize the financing for a 5.86 MW solar project that will provide immediate energy costs savings to support the district's core mission, educating children. "Early indicators tell us our solar power system will produce enough energy to save an anticipated $2.4 million dollars a year," he said.
"The ambitious Clovis Project exemplifies the school district's foresight to reduce energy costs. With education budgets tight across the U.S., this significant saving can be redeployed, directly benefiting students for generations to come," said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar Inc.
“Our team is always proud to provide affordable, high-quality solar energy solutions for educational institutions, as we share in our commitment to help create a sustainable and brighter future for our children," he concluded. Panels will soon line the rooftops of shade structures like the one pictured at 21 sites: 19 of them at schools, and two of them at district headquarters. The $25 million project is expected to generate six megawatts of power or the equivalent of 6,000 homes.
The solar revolution happening at schools extends far beyond Fresno. Martins Creek Elementary School recently installed one of the largest PV arrays in North Carolina, utilizing Canadian Solar modules to generate green power and educational opportunities. “Martins Creek Elementary and Middle School contracted ESA Renewables to complete a 999 kW array of Canadian Solar CS6P-P modules, generating clean renewable energy for the community,” said Thomas Körner, General Manager of Canadian Solar USA.
“The school will use the impressive solar array’s monitoring system, a proprietary system developed by ESA Renewables to continuously track power output, as an educational tool teaching children how solar works and raising their awareness of energy conservation and environmental consciousness,” he said.
The PV system reduces carbon emissions equivalent to the amount that 4,681 trees would sequester per year, and the project also brought with it new jobs, helping to support local economic growth.
The Bancroft School, a private boarding school in Worchester, MA has also discovered a new way to energize its 541 students: solar power. Composed of 486 of Canadian Solar’s top-performing CS6P-230P polycrystalline modules, Bancroft’s 106 kW fixed tilt ballasted roof mount system will produce more than 117,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or approximately 25% of the building’s energy needs over an entire year, which makes it the largest private installation within the City of Worcester. In addition, it will reduce CO2 emissions by 127 tons annually, the same amount that 637 trees sequester in a year, and will save the school an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 in annual energy costs.
The installer company, Future Solar Systems, also provided the school with a basic and advanced curriculum for solar and wind power, which will enable Bancroft teachers to use the Canadian Solar system as a tool to educate students about the importance of renewable energy in meeting our future energy needs and protecting the environment.