Solar installations are popping up everywhere in the Parkway School District.
What? You say you haven’t noticed?
Well maybe that is because most of the work is happening on the predominately flat roofs that make up most of the 33 Parkway School District buildings. It’s much harder to witness solar installation progress on a flat roof than it is on an angled roof….in fact, many miss it all together.
This was not the case with Brightergy’s installation at Forsyth School in the Clayton area. The system there was installed on the angled roof of the school’s Rand Center (the gymnasium.) For those of you who are not familiar with Forsyth, the school is made up of five historic houses with a 6th under renovation that have been cleverly and conveniently merged with newer facilities. The good news about this set up, for us, is that Forsyth’s solar array was installed on the southern roof of the Rand Center directly outside of the 3rd grade classroom window.
Realizing that the school’s unique set up created a very interesting opportunity, Susan Zareh, 6th grade math teacher at Forsyth (and also wife of Eric Zareh, 7th grade science teacher at Parkway Central Middle School), decided to take a picture each morning and each afternoon during the 2 week installation of their solar array. The result is a great slide show that shows the daily detail necessary for the installation of a solar array. Think of it as a slow motion time-lapsed camera!
Before you watch – here are some details that will help you put the array in perspective. Remember this is very close to the same sized array that is going on the roof of every Parkway School:
- The installation of the solar array took less than two weeks to install.
- The array is 25.775 kW and will produce close to 39,600 kWh of electricity per year.
- The clean power benefits from this installation will prevent the release of 60,200 tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. This is the environmental equivalent of 700 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
- This array takes up about 2,500 square feet of the Rand Center roof and was created using 105 solar panels. These panels are about 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall.
- Now complete, the students in the school can access the array via an online monitoring system to see at any time how much power is being produced. The data can be exported for use in classroom exercises and projects.
- A portion of the solar array at Forsyth was funded by donut sales at the school.
- On flat roofed schools (like Parkway) the solar array installations are “self-ballasted” meaning the racking that holds the panels is weighted down with concrete blocks and not really attached to the roof. This system will withstand up to a 90 mph wind (which is hurricane speed.)
The majority of the system at Forsyth and all 33 systems for the Parkway Schools (in total) were installed via Brightergy’s innovative BrighterLease program. This no upfront cost program offers a great entry point to solar that is cash flow positive in the first month. A limited number of BrighterLeases are available for non-taxable entities, like schools and churches for 2013. If your school, church or non-profit is interested, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the show!