Archive for the 'Illinois' Category

Hawthorn District #73: Illinois Solar Schools Update

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

In our last blog we talked about how all of the Hawthorn Schools have solar electricity panels on them. Everyone in Vernon Hills, Illinois is so excited about these solar school projects that two of the schools provided us with updates.

Hawthorn Middle School South

Illinois Hawthorn Elementary South Solar Panels

According to Michael Brennan, 7th grade science teacher, “Since Middle School South’s Installation (January  18th) to March 19th, we have produced 132 kWh hours of solar energy. We have had a carbon offset of 201 lbs which is the equivalent of two trees. The science classes have begun teaching lessons on solar energy using mini Photovoltaic Cells to raise awareness on our solar panels.”

Hawthorn Aspen Elementary School

Illinois Hawthorn Aspen Elementary

From Lisa Cerauli, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, “Currently, we have the 5th grade students inform the school on our morning broadcast.  They give the monthly info to the rest of the school during their newscast.”

Every school using solar every day.

Hawthorn District 73 is an Illinois Solar School District

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

There are a lot of solar schools throughout Illinois. Some districts have more than one solar school. In Vernon Hills, the Hawthorn School District (No. 73) has solar school installations at all of its schools.

  • Hawthorn Middle School
  • Hawthorn Aspen Elementary
  • Hawthorn Middle School South
  • Hawthorn Middle School North
  • Hawthorn Elementary School North
  • Hawthorn Elementary School South
  • Townline Elementary/School of Dual Language

Hawthorn Townline

Regardless of how you look at this, it is a school district dedicated to teaching its students about solar electricity.  The schools are on the web site including the solar data.  Lisa Cerauli is our primary contact. is her e-mail in case you want to ask her how she does it.

– Glen Kizer

Saint Andrew School is latest Illinois Solar School

Saturday, 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

St. Andrew Solar Panels

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.

There is a Solar Farm in Rockford, Illinois

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

The Rockford Solar Farm

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.

The Rockford Solar Farm

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 Rockford Solar Farm

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

Illinois Solar School at Alexander Grade School by Glen Kizer

Sunday, 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.

Alexander Grade

Alexander Grade

Alexander Grade

Alexander Grade

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

Andrew Stremlau is the principal and the primary contact for the school and his e mail can be found at the school page above.

Illinois Solar School at Saint Stanislaus Kostka

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) funded a 1 kW solar electricity system at the Saint Stanislaus Kostka School on North Noble Street in Chicago, Illinois. This is an amazing place where children in PK3 through 8th grade have embraced the opportunity to learn about clean energy and have since implemented sustainable practices throughout the school – through recycling, source reduction, use of earth-friendly products and environmental education.

Saint Stanislaus

Saint Stanislaus

The installation was done by Earth, Wind And Solar Energy and includes 6 Mage 180 watt PV panels and an Enphase inverter. The students of Saint Stanislaus Kostka School enthusiastically observed the installation and applauded when the switch was flipped yelling “solar”. Riana Caravette, president of Earth Wind And Solar Energy says “This is a great opportunity for our children to start learning about clean energy, get into green careers and become future adopters of this technology.”

The data can be read by going to the

Len Kaihara is the primary contact for the school and his e mail can be found at the school page above.  The installation was completed in 2011.