Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ComEd to Provide Solar Power for Illinois Schools

Just over a month ago, I published a post at Treehugger about nine schools in Iowa generating electricity from wind power (that post gets a mention on this week's edition of Treehugger TV news, also). Today, Illinois power company ComEd and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation announced they'll be bringing solar power to fourteen schools in northern Illinois:
The selected schools, located in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Ogle and Winnebago counties, will each receive funding to install a 1 kilowatt PV system to convert sunlight to electric power (enough energy to power about five average homes), and to integrate a specialized curriculum covering renewable energy sources.

The funding for each selected school includes $10,000 from ICECF to pay for the cost of the system and $3,000 from ComEd to fund support from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to facilitate the installation and develop the classroom curriculum. Additionally, the ICECF is developing a Web site, which will highlight the real-time generation data of each of the solar power systems in the program. Teachers will be able to use this real time data in lessons on renewable energy for science, math and other disciplines.

"ComEd is extremely proud to partner with the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the Foundation for Environmental Education to educate young people about the benefits of renewable energy," said Frank M. Clark, ComEd chairman and CEO. "Educating the next generation is a key first step in advancing renewable resources as a viable energy solution."

As I said at TH, and have written a number of times here, renewable energy generation at schools provides a two-fold benefit: it produces clean power and also creates opportunities for students to learn first-hand about renewables. Sorry for the cliche', but this is definitely a gift that keeps on giving...

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