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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.

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Saint Andrew School is latest Illinois Solar School

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

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

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 Dli@Wanxiang.com.

Illinois Solar School at Alexander Grade School by Glen Kizer

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 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.

Illinois Solar School at Saint Stanislaus Kostka

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 IllinoisSolarSchools.org.

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.



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