PV Option for Kentucky Schools

Ten Kentucky schools will have the opportunity to create a community of solar schools through a cooperative effort sponsored by several state organizations.

Frankfort, Kentucky – January 20, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] With the educational photovoltaic (PV) systems and associated computer software, students will be able to track their schools’ energy demand and the amount of energy supplied by the solar panels. K-12 schools across the state are being offered the opportunity to participate in the “Kentucky Schools Going Solar” program, which is being sponsored by the Kentucky Division of Energy, American Electric Power, the state affiliate of the National Energy Education Development Project (Kentucky NEED), and The Foundation for Environmental Education. Schools must apply to be part of the program. Each selected school will receive a 1,000 W PV system meeting the requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy Million Solar Roofs Program. To develop the solar learning tool and integrate it into the curriculum, NEED student guides and other training materials will be provided. In addition, the installed PV systems will include a performance-monitoring system that will allow students to monitor the production of electricity from the system. Plans are being made to make this information accessible through the Internet. Teachers will receive training to help students connect the solar panels to their own learning in the classroom. The materials and training meet the Kentucky Program of Studies goals while helping teach about energy in a creative and interesting way. NEED’s hand-on solar energy units – developed with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council – make learning about solar electricity applicable to classroom experiences. The Kentucky Division of Energy will fund the program. “We feel this is a great way to educate people throughout the Commonwealth about a Renewable Energy technology that will grow in importance in coming years,” said Geoff Young, the division’s assistant director. AEP will donate the solar panels. Kentucky NEED and The Foundation for Environmental Education will develop and implement the program. Schools should apply to be part of the program by March 1, 2003. Selection of the schools is to be completed by the end of March. For information and to apply for selection contact Karen Reagor at Kentucky NEED, toll free 866-736-8941.

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