School Installation Teaches Maryland Kids About Solar Power
Wednesday, May 9th 2012 4:12 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
Sandy Spring Friends School, a pre-K through grade 12 coed college preparatory Quaker school in Montgomery County, recently announced plans to install a solar system that will consist of 2,000 panels on the school's 140-acre campus. This is one of many recent solar energy projects in Maryland.
The system will be ground-mounted instead of a rooftop solar installation and provide more than 473 kilowatts of power, with an estimated output of 600,790 kilowatt-hours.
The project is expected to begin in June and is being developed by UGI Performance Solutions, which is a Pennsylvania-based energy solutions provider. Standard Solar, Inc., a Maryland-based leader in developing and installing solar electric systems for commercial, government and residential customers, has been tasked with designing and installing the project.
"The SSFS community is delighted to work with Standard Solar and UGI to install one of the largest solar projects in Montgomery County on our beautiful 140-acre campus," said Tom Gibian, the principal of the school. "Solar power, in its simplicity and efficiency, and as a substitute to purchasing electricity generated from the burning conventional fossil fuels, will become part of our curriculum (science, technology and entrepreneurism), will save us money and reflects our intention to practice good stewardship of our natural resources."
The estimated carbon offset of the system is 414 metric tons, which is the equivalent of almost 963 barrels of oil being consumed per year. The system will be owned by UGI Energy Services, the company the school has entered into a power purchase agreement with. The agreement between the two parties will allow the school to use the electricity generated for a fixed cost, which will lower utility bills.
"Solar installations are a great fit for educational institutions, providing significant economic and environmental benefits as well as offering educational opportunities for the students," said Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar. "This kind of project can influence future leaders while helping the Sandy Spring community and its students take another step forward in their environmental stewardship."
The school also has a new community garden on campus in addition to the solar panels, which will provide food and clean energy for the students, who will also be learning about green energy in the process.
Students in nearby Fairfax County, Virginia, recently won awards at the Junior Solar Sprint, an event for those who design, build and race model solar electric cars, according to the Fairfax News.