RE Trust Funds School Solar Power

The MATCH School Foundation in collaboration with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) held a dedication ceremony for the Media and Technology Charter High School (MATCH School) in Allston. The school is the first Massachusetts public school solar project to be completed with assistance from the Renewable Energy Trust, a fund administered by MTC.

Allston, Massachusetts – June 20, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The MATCH school received a grant for US$491,530 from the Renewable Energy Trust, which is promoting the design and construction of a new generation of resource and energy efficient green buildings and schools in the Commonwealth. The school designed and constructed a high-performance, energy efficient school building and installed 22 kW of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on its roof to provide electricity to the building. This installation, combined with savings from energy efficiency measures, reduced the building’s energy use by 33 percent. The school will provide significant data on the performance of its renewable energy system and building design. Much of the data gathering will be done by MATCH students, a pertinent connection to the school’s philosophy of integrating technology and education. The school has developed a website at documenting real-time performance of the PV and is establishing an educational curriculum based on the system to provide energy education at the high school level. “This is a tremendous example of how partners from industry, government and academia can come together to develop a school building that provides a healthier learning environment for students, while educating people about the benefits of building green,” said Renewable Energy Trust Director Rob Pratt. Solar Design Associates partnered with PowerLight Corporation and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 103 of Boston, to complete the project. Shell Solar supplied 288 of the state-of-the-art solar electric modules, and the structure was designed by HMFH Architects, Inc. The Massachusetts Green Building Initiative provided 75 percent of the funding for the planning and construction of the 22 kW solar array. “As with other academic installations we’ve done at places such as University of Wisconsin/Green Bay, the MATCH system will both provide a sustainable energy supply for the school while also helping students learn about solar energy and its environmental benefits,” said Solar Design Associates Project Manager Robert Erb. “As parents, we all want to not only educate our children but also prepare a better world for them to inherit.” The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103, contracted to install the PV system, received a US$50,000 grant from MTC to produce a professional training video based on the MATCH School installation. This video will be used throughout IBEW Locals to help educate apprentice and journeymen electrical workers about the PV installation process. Each electrician who completes the training programs will be qualified to install PV, significantly increasing the labor pool of qualified installers. The MATCH School is a charter school focused on a philosophy of integrating technology into all aspects of its core educational curriculum in combination with traditional teaching methods. The MATCH School Foundation is a private non-profit organization established to purchase and build a permanent home for the MATCH School. The School was chartered in 1999 and opened its door on September 7, 2000.

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