165 solar panels installed on the roof of the Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island, New York were placed in service October 15. The array is expected to meet most of the electricity needs of the school and will reduce carbon emissions in the Grymes Hill neighborhood where the school is located by 36,00 tons a year.
The new solar array will do more than just help meet the energy needs of the school and its 700 students. The system also includes video monitors in both the elementary and high school buildings that will display real-time graphics charting the energy saved.
“We’re very, very excited about this project, not just for what it will mean for energy conservation, but also because of its educational possibilities,” says Sister Patricia Corley, president of Notre Dame Academy. “It’s part of our commitment to teaching students how to be good stewards of our environment.”
The $170,000 project was funded by a substantial grant from the congregation of Notre Dame church together with a $20,000 grant from the Richmond County Savings Bank Foundation and a $58,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Sister Corley says the system should pay for itself within 5 years.
The solar panel array is part of the school’s Strategic Plan which includes replacing old windows with new energy efficient units and installing hybrid heating units in several of its buildings to conserve energy and save on heating costs.
The big story here is that a local parish even has a strategic plan for conserving electricity and reducing carbon emissions from its operations. Politicians and big business may still be questioning whether climate change is actually happening but communities all across the land have stopped talking and started doing. In the end, the lessons about energy conservation that Notre Dame Academy teaches its students will be even more valuable than the money the school saves on electricity.
Source | Images: Staten Island Live