So this has been an excellent week for green energy at my school. Thanks to tremendous community support we have been able to raise over 25% of the system cost (over $5000) with donations and grants. (Synergy Renewable also donated labor to help lower our overall cost.)
This brought the payback of the system into a reasonable range for our school! And this past week the board approved the purchase of Juda's first solar array. This is a commitment to the school, the community, the students and is a great support of our educational initiative to have the students do real world work. The students created a project that worked and will have be helping the district reduce costs for decades.
We are now proceeding with a 24 panel, 4.3 kW system that is warrantied for 25 years. And the day we get it install it will lower our electric bill! It will supply less than 5% of our needed power but it is a start (because the first step is hardest, the next step is always easier).
And due to the support we were able to buy a system that was slightly larger than our smallest plan! We may have even more support coming yet which would allow us to buy a slightly larger inverter thus allowing for another row or 12 panels to be added in the future.
This project showed that you just have to hold on to good ideas, cause sometimes things simply take time. The project will meet all the goals the Physics class of 2011-12 except one - which was to install the spring/summer 2012.
Yet I call the project a complete success.