Elementary School Boosts Learning From Light! to 90,000 Watts of Solar Power in Ohio

WHEELERSBURG, Ohio, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Which state was last in solar power in 1997 and has vaulted to number 14 in the U.S.? If your final answer is Ohio, you are correct. The Buckeye State is approaching top 10 ranking in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Million Solar Roofs Initiative. One thousand watts of solar- generated electricity were added today at Wheelersburg Elementary School during a dedication ceremony for the school’s Solar Lab Project. The southern Ohio school helped American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) Learning from Light! program reach 90,000 watts of installed capacity in Ohio as certified by DOE. “Ohio does not come to mind when you consider solar energy,” said John Hollback, AEP manager of environmental affairs in Ohio, who spoke at the ceremony. “However, communities and schools across the state have embraced the Learning from Light! initiative, and momentum is building.” Glen Kizer, president of the Foundation for Environmental Education and AEP’s major partner in Learning from Light!, concurs. “The program teaches local communities about the feasibility, reliability and economics of solar electricity and other ways to generate electricity,” he said. “Everyone in Wheelersburg worked together to bring solar power to their school. More and more schools are finding out about our program and want to join. I predict that Ohio will break into the top 10 by the end of this year.” In addition to AEP, sponsors of the school’s solar project include the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Energy Efficiency, which provides funding to all such projects, and DOE’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Students raised money from businesses and individuals to pay for the solar panel system and its connection to the school’s electrical system. “This system is an invaluable learning resource for the school and the community,” Hollback said. “It’s a springboard to understanding renewable energy and energy management and usage. Students, teachers and the public can go to AEP’s Learning from Light! web site to see how much solar power is contributing to a school’s electrical needs. They can determine how many solar panels, for example, it would take to keep the school running. This, in turn, helps them understand why it’s important for a school’s energy supplier, in this case AEP, to be able to use a variety of fuels to generate electricity.” “The solar school pages on the AEP web site also establish a network of teachers who can share information about ways the program helps improve students’ knowledge. Schools are joining so fast that we haven’t been able to add all of them to the web site yet,” Kizer said. AEP’s Learning from Light! initiative promotes solar power projects anywhere in the world and offers advice to communities on how to take a system from concept to finished product. Local energy providers, government agencies and environmental organizations can become partners. In the Wheelersburg project AEP engineers from Chillicothe helped the school select the best location for the solar panels, obtain them and install the system. More information about Learning from Light! can be found at http://www.aep.com/environmental/solar . For the Foundation for Environmental Education, go to http://www.The-Environment.org . This web site contains a photo of the Wheelersburg school solar panels. The Million Solar Roofs Initiative was announced in June 1997 to encourage the installation of solar energy systems at facilities of the U.S. government and on private buildings. The goal is to have one million solar roof systems installed by 2010. American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP is one of the United States’ largest generators of electricity with more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity. AEP is also one of the nation’s leading wholesale energy marketers and traders. AEP delivers electricity to more than 4.8 million customers in 11 states – Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The company serves more than 4 million customers outside the U.S. through holdings in Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering, construction, energy management and telecommunications services. SOURCE American Electric Power Web Site: http://www.aep.com http://www.aep.com/environmental/solar http://www.The-Environment.org

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