High Schools Join Solar Schools Program

Nine high schools in northeastern Wisconsin have been selected to receive the SolarWise for Schools educational program from WPS Community Foundation, Inc.

Green Bay, Wisconsin – February 12, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Over the next two years, these schools will receive solar-electric systems on their rooftops and a three-week curriculum package to explore Renewable Energy resources and the use of solar power. Thanks to additional financial support from the state’s Focus on Energy program, the foundation was able to expand the SolarWise program to include three more schools than in previous years. Five high schools are slated for installations in 2003: · Oconto · Bayport (Green Bay) · Tomahawk · Valders, and · Pacelli (Stevens Point) In 2004, four additional schools will receive their SolarWise systems: · Marinette · Wrightstown · Wausau East, and · Sevastopol (Sturgeon Bay) These nine high schools join 23 others already participating in the SolarWise program, bringing the total to 32. Each of the nine schools will receive a 2 kW solar electric system that will supplement the power they receive from Wisconsin Public Service. The solar equipment will provide enough electricity to light several classrooms, and students will be able to monitor performance daily via the Internet. Along with the rooftop solar equipment, each school will receive a SolarWise for Schools curriculum package to use for classroom study of Renewable Energy resources. The package gives students hands-on learning experiences with solar energy and other Renewable Energy resources. As part of the SolarWise for Schools program, all the selected schools are eligible to participate in the 7th annual “Solar Olympics,” a one-day event scheduled for Monday, May 5, 2003, at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The event gives students the opportunity to compete in a variety of solar projects against teams from other schools. These nine high schools join 18 others that have received SolarWise installations since 1997 and five schools that have received the educational component of the program. “The SolarWise program is growing,” said Chip Bircher, SolarWise manager at Wisconsin Public Service. “People are becoming aware of the important role that Renewable Energy will play in providing reliable electricity while protecting the environment, and SolarWise is an easy, convenient way to make a difference.” Funds for the SolarWise program, including those used for solar-electric hardware and installation, come primarily from voluntary donations made by customers of Wisconsin Public Service to the WPS Community Foundation. Currently 4,800 customers contribute. Additional funds come from Focus on Energy grants.
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