A grant from the New York Power Authority that put 28 solar panels on the roof of Irvington High School is paying off for the school district in both energy savings and educational opportunities.
“We are finally realizing how this works for us,” said Irvington School District Director of Facilities Gary Knowles. “Typically, 28 panels would be used to provide energy for a 2,000-square-foot house, so the amount saved in a school this size is relatively not huge. But since the grant cost us nothing, it is definitely a savings.”
The district estimates a savings of about $70 per month on electricity costs. The school district originally submitted the grant application about seven years ago.
The panels will also offer an educational opportunity for students as science teachers are looking into how they can incorporate the technology and its data into the curriculum.
The district's science teachers are investigating the possibilities of incorporating the project and its data into the curricula. The school’s solar panel system involves harnessing energy and converting direct current (DC) produced by solar cells to alternating current (AC), the type power available in a wall socket.
Residents and students can currently log on to www.sunnyportal.com, to view the financial savings and environmental impact of the panels. Three months of data showed that more than 4,274.76 pounds of CO2 was prevented from entering the atmosphere. Knowles can provide the public with a logon for the portal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The district says that the solar panels are the most recent components of the district’s plan to become more environmentally friendly.