November 22nd, 2013
One of the basic requirements for a solar school 1 kW grant project from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Project is visibility. The solar electricity panels are required to be installed so they are visible to students. The pictures below provide you with three (3) examples at schools around Illinois.
As you can see from the pix above, panels can be high up near the top of a tall school building (Prieto Academy in Chicago) or high on the wall of the building above the front entrance (Union Ridge) or near the ground at a level many schools call “mower height” that is near the front entrance of the school (Elmwood Jr/Sr HS). All of these installations create high visibility for the solar panels and make the solar school project at each school more successful.
October 18th, 2013
A 1.4 kW solar electricity system is being installed at the Center near downtown Columbus, Ohio during the month of October, 2013. We will do a follow up with pix when the installation is completed but we wanted to preview the project.
The installation will be pole mounted with a top of the rack mounting system and the pole will be set on a concrete pad. The Columbus Ohio Chapter of the IBEW will do the installation, but there are a number of partners in this project.
- The City of Columbus is digging the hole.
- A local solar company, SolarVision LLC, is donating funds to the project.
- The Brian David Robertson (BDR) Foundation is donating equipment.
- Canadian Solar donated the solar panels.
- Solar Cascade paid for the drawings and the design of the pole mounted system and Thomas Van Cleef is handing a number of the site preparation and IT issues.
- The Foundation for Environmental Education is administering the project.
According to Christie Vargo, the Center Director, “We love this project for two reasons. The first reason is that it will allow us to introduce our visitors to solar energy. The second reason is that the partners in this project are all working in collaboration to help us illustrate the power of a community that works together.”
– by Glen Kizer
September 20th, 2013
On August 28th, Elmwood CUSD #322 cut the ribbon on its 3.7 Skystream wind turbine at its Jr/Sr High School at 301 West Butternut Street in Elmwood, Illinois. The turbine is rated at 2.4 kW.
Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation provided a $40,000 grant to help offset 90% of the cost of the wind turbine project. Western Illinois University provided support for the data system. The project will appear on the IllinoisWindSchools.org web site in September.
The wind turbine is being used as a teaching tool at both the Jr/Sr High School and the elementary school.
The event was held at Whitney Field and included students, faculty, some guest speakers elected officials, as well as a local TV station. The event started at 9 :00 am and including a formal ribbon cutting.
Roger Alvey, the District Superintendent, hosted the event that included Steve Smith from the Farnsworth Group (Consultant), teachers Todd Hollis (Elmwood High School) and Cindy Alcaraz (Elmwood Jr High School), Dick Taylor of the City of Elmwood, Illinois State Senator Darin LaHood serving the 37th District, and Glen Kizer representing Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
The wind generated electricity is being monitored so that the students at both schools will be able to see how much electricity is being produced by the turbine.
August 3rd, 2013
At 1710 W. Addison Street in Chicago, Illinois, there is a wonderful school building with a piece of new technology, a 1+ kW solar electricity system. The photovoltaic (PV) system will be used as a teaching tool in the classroom and is visible from those same classrooms. Live data can be found on Illinoissolarschools.org
St. Andrew Solar Panels
The school is for students up through the 8th grade. Allen Ackermann is the Principal. Earth Wind and Solar did the solar installation.
July 18th, 2013
It is technically called “the Rockford Solar Farm at Rockford Airport.” It is a 3 MW solar electricity system that generates more than 4,000 MWH per year. It is on a 30 degree tilt that is fixed and south facing.
All of the panels are high efficiency 290 watt poly modules which are manufactured by the Wanxiang Company and most of them are assembled in their Rockford, Illinois facility. The site is about 70 acres and was provided in the form of a long term lease with the Rockford Airport Authority and the City of Rockford, Illinois.
The project cost approximately $13 million including project development, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), interconnection, project management and administration and construction financing. Another 40 MW is being planned and may start later in 2013 or 2014. If you have any questions about this project, you may e mail Daniel Li at Dli@Wanxiang.com.
July 7th, 2013
Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) funded a 1 kW solar electricity system at the Alexander Grade School in Alexander, Illinois.
The school is one of those classic buildings that driving by and seeing all of the brick might cause someone to call it an “old” building. And it is an older school building but it is a classic because it has huge windows in every classroom allowing in tons of natural light and beautiful woodwork and a fantastic gym. But it is one of the cleanest schools I have ever seen and the security is tight. For an old building, there are fantastic locking mechanisms on every door and a security camera alerting the office if anyone is on school grounds that is not supposed to be there. It reminds me of the school I attended for my elementary school many years ago.
The installation was done by SunAir Systems by Dave Merrill and includes 6 Suntech 170 watt PV panels and a Solectria inverter. The data can be read by going to IllinoisSolarSchools.org.
Andrew Stremlau is the principal and the primary contact for the school and his e mail can be found at the school page above.