Posted: November, 25, 2016 - 3:13pm
Lakes gets greener
Sixteen solar panels on the roof above the cafeteria now help to power the building, thanks to a generous grant from the Lakes Eagles Booster Club and the persistence of Evergreen, the student environmental club.
The panels were installed on November 21 by Solar One. Additionally, the company installed an inverter so maintenance staff—and science students—can monitor the amount of energy being generated as well as the level of emissions reduction.
Student members of Evergreen have been fundraising to purchase a windmill or solar panels for the last five or six years. In fact, about $1,000 of the $10,900 total cost was covered by their efforts; the rest was covered by the Booster Club grant. Evergreen sponsor Jeff Newton wrote the grant proposal.
“We [Evergreen] really are passionate about showing that we as a school promote green energy,” Newton said. “It was really helpful that [Principal Dave Newberry] and the Boosters were supporters of the idea.”
Evergreen weighed the pros and cons of a windmill or solar panels and decided they would get more power for less cost with the solar panels. Newton contacted Solar One to explain the idea, and the company agreed to only charge the school for the materials, not for labor.
Newton said that in addition to offering the school the benefits of green energy and financial savings, the solar panels support curriculum opportunities. Science students from both Lakes and Antioch high schools will be able to collect data from the inverter to use in their classes. Additionally, an LCD screen to be installed at Lakes will provide the school community with real time information about the energy being generated by the panels.
Newton says the idea to eventually add more panels to the 16 is “very preliminary” and depends on the success of this pilot program.