Over the last few months, we’ve seen several schools get outfitted with solar power systems. Puget Sound Energy has a program that is facilitating solar installations at schools in western Washington state and, more recently, what is being called the largest K-12 solar installation program in the U.S. was completed in San Jose, California. The idea of outfitting schools with solar power systems offers multiple potential benefits in that not only can the solar power help reduce school expenses, but the installation, maintenance and monitoring of these systems can provides educational opportunities as well.
Both notions seem to have been motivating factors behind another school solar installation, this time in the state of Kentucky, where a middle school is now home to what is being called the largest solar power installation in the state.
Despite being twice the size of the old building, the new Turkey Neck Middle School is said to consume half the energy of the former location. The 355 kilowatt solar array installed at the school is reportedly comprised of 2,731 solar modules (both crystalline panels and thin-film) which are expected to generate 469,000 kilowatt-hours annually, thereby avoiding approximately 8,417 of CO2 emissions over the course of 25 years. The solar array itself has been reported to be worth over $2 million.
A team of Turkey Foot students, called Construction 101, was involved in the design and construction of the building. The Kenton County school district has been recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as one of 44 school districts nation wide to have reduced its energy consumption by 20 percent.