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Hawthorn District #73: Illinois Solar Schools Update

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

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 www.IllinoisSolarSchools.org including the solar data.  Lisa Cerauli is our primary contact.  Ceraulil@hawthorn73.org is her e-mail in case you want to ask her how she does it.

– Glen Kizer

The 10 Campaigns Helping Save Our Planet Most

February 2nd, 2014

You are all part of the Solar Schools Initiative. Some of you are students, some are teachers, some are school administrators, some of you provide grant funds, some of you provide technical assistance to schools, some of you install solar on schools and there are a variety of other people and groups that help make this initiative work. To all of you, a web site listed the solar schools initiative as one of the top 10 Campaigns Helping Save Our Planet Most. Here is the list.

Congratulations to all of us.

– Glen Kizer

Solar School Projects: 3 Schools that highlight project visibility

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.

Unionridge

Unionridge

Prieto

Prieto

Elmwood

Elmwood

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.

Solar Schools Program at Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus Ohio

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.

Grange Insurance Audubon Center

Grange Insurance Audubon Center

  • 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

Elmwood – Illinois Wind School

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.

elmwood-1

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.

elmwood-4

elmwood-3

elmwood-1



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