It's a big day today, as it's the first official field trip today from another school to learn about our solar array. St. Henry Local Schools' 7th graders (67 of them!), from Mercer county, Ohio, will be touring the utility-scale wind farms in Van Wert county, which surround our Vantage Career Center. Their teacher has also scheduled a tour of our solar array, where her science students will learn why we put in solar power and how it works.
Our Electricity trades instructor, Mel White, will get into the finer details of how the solar power is inverted and brought into the school. I will discuss the reasons we chose to add a solar array--largely adding an alternative energy curricular area for all of our career-technical students to learn about via our science courses. And our Electricity students learn about solar power more in depth from Mr. White.
Why am I excited about today's visitors? Because it only makes sense that our school serves more people of all ages, to give more information on alternative energy. We have a beautiful new school, co-funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, completed in January, 2013. The solar array was not part of the project, but a separate initiative driven by me, because it made sense. The multi-million dollar, 1 megawatt array can provide 80% of our building's power, given peak generation, peak use in a day. We don't store any of the power, but utilize all solar power first, then our meter converts to utility electric power to complete our need. The district simply agreed to buy the solar power generated for 25 years, and leased our land for the array to occupy.
I love it when a plan comes together! It was worth the effort.
Below, students see a You Tube video about how solar energy is produced. And Electricity instructor Mr. White, a residential electrician, shows the 7th graders the huge diameter of the power "cord" which runs from the solar field several hundred feet underground to the school building.