Fifty NY Schools to Receive PV Systems

Students at fifty New York State schools will soon be learning about solar energy in their very own roof-top classrooms.

Albany, New York – November 15, 2002 [] The and Solar Works Inc., have selected the schools that will participate in the program from more than 100 schools that applied. Solar Works, based in Montpelier, Vermont, was selected through a competitive process to act as the general contractor for the project and will begin installing the 2 kW systems beginning in the spring of 2003. The systems will consist of 20 AstroPower 100 W modules, an SMA Americas 2500 W inverter and a Heliotronics data acquisition system, according to Richard Eidlin, Solar Works’ lead on the project. “We’re thrilled about the project,” Eidlin said. “This is great confirmation that these programs are important, that they help to build the market and are good for the whole industry.” In addition to the systems that Eidlin said will each generate about 8 kWh/day, schools will be provided with curricular materials to help teachers incorporate lessons about solar energy into the students’ courses to expand the knowledge of Renewable Energy alternatives. The US$1.8 million School Power….Naturally Program was offered to schools as part of NYSERDA’s New York Energy $mart Schools Program. “New York State is leading by example when it comes to investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean-energy technologies,” said NYSERDA President William M. Flynn. “These investments are reducing the environmental impacts of our energy use and paving the way toward a more secure energy future by lessening our dependence on foreign sources of energy. By bringing renewable energy to our schools, the next generation of leaders in this State will have a greater awareness of the implications of our energy choices and the energy alternatives that are available to us.” NYSERDA’s School Power…Naturally Program is providing each of the 50 schools with US$18,000, or 90 percent of the cost to install the systems. AMERESCO, an energy services company partnering with NYSERDA, will contribute US$500 per installation, leaving each school’s financial commitment at US$1,500. The educational materials to support the program are being developed by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. Heliotronics, Inc. of Hingham, Massachusetts will provide data acquisition equipment and software to complement the educational materials. “The data acquisition systems are designed to include both monitoring of the solar array performance and monitoring of meteorological data,” said Clayton Handleman, president of Heliotronics. “It will measure temperature, wind speed, solar irradiance, DC power into the inverter, AC power out of the inverter, total energy produced, avoided pollutants and system efficiency.” Heliotronics will also supply a useful user interface that helps teachers and students monitor the system through a computer. The 50 projects chosen were selected based on criteria that included a statewide geographical distribution mix, involving a mix of urban, suburban, and rural demographics. A large emphasis was placed on the action plan that was submitted by each entrant showing how the school proposed to incorporate the solar energy systems into educational planning and community outreach. Schools that were not chosen to receive solar energy systems will still have the opportunity to participate in the School Power…Naturally Program. The curricular materials will be made available to all schools, and a “Solar Buddy” program will pair up school districts who received awards with other schools in order to exchange information and promote learning. Access:


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