St. Columba School expects to start producing more than enough electricity this fall on sunny days to power its campus and adjacent church buildings to offset its carbon footprint and educate its students about solar power.
“This is a great educational and teaching opportunity for our students and our families,” said Principal Kevin Chick.
The school invested $100,000 in the new system on top of its main building and expects the system will be paid off in 12 to 13 years, he said. The project also received a $50,000 federal grant, and Living Solar, the project contractor, invested $50,000 in the project.
The private Catholic school, which has an enrollment of about 235 students, hopes the project will set a good example in the community, he said.
“I don’t know that when people think of the Catholic Church they think about a project like this,” he said.
The school expects to incorporate the new solar array into its religion and theology classes as an example of how to be a good steward of the Earth, he said. The array will also be incorporated into the school’s science and social studies classes, he said.
The newly installed solar panels will be connected to an interactive kiosk in the school’s main building that will display the system’s energy production in real time.
Residents interested in sponsoring a solar panel at the school can contact Mike Best at [email protected] or 247-5527.
[email protected]An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect email address for Mike Best.