Schools are natural centers for learning and community activity and thus make ideal sites for photovoltaic (PV) systems.
In the interest of educating the public and moving solar technologies to market, Solar Works, Inc., a leading renewable energy services provider since 1980, has initiated the Solar on Schools program. Since the program began in 1998, Solar Works has installed 20 PV systems, ranging from a 300 watt system at an environmental education center in Concord, New Hampshire, to a six kilowatt system at the University of Vermont in Burlington.
Educational materials and training on renewable energy are also made available as part of the program. These resources include access to SolarQuest, a Web site that links solar schools across the country; a subscription to Solar Today, CD-ROMs about renewable energy; demonstration PV modules for use in classroom experiments; and a host of interacctive classroom and field exercises.
Roof-mounted and “roof-integrated” PV systems are being placed on public and private schools and colleges throughout New England to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits solar electric systems can provide.