Redmond High School (RHS) had the first solar electric system of any school in King County. Since 2005, the six solar panels at RHS have created enough electricity to power about 60 homes for one day.
“These solar projects not only provide money and generate clean electricity, but they also serve as an educational resource for the students in the district,” noted Chuck Collins, the contracted resource conservation manager for LWSD.
The district is continuing its commitments to resource conservation and environmental education with three more solar installations this fall.
The projects will each generate about $2,000 per year from Puget Sound Energy.
Work began at Evergreen Junior High in Redmond on the morning of Aug. 1. A total of 60 solar panels there — the largest installation at any school in Washington state — will produce a maximum of 12 kilowatts (kW) of power.
That’s designed to equal the amount of power used by the school’s nine portable classrooms. Portables generally have a higher energy consumption than classrooms contained inside a building.
The total cost of the project at Evergreen is $200,000, which will be funded through the Capital Projects Levy that passed in 2006.
Eastlake High School in Sammamish and the LWSD Support Services Center will be next on the district’s list for solar panels.
Evergreen Junior High feeds students into both Redmond and Eastlake High Schools, so these kids will have lots of opportunities to reap the educational rewards over the course of their secondary schooling, said Evergreen principal Jan Olson. And the more they know about solar power, the more they can contribute to the community.
“The first thing we’ll do is have a conversation with Redmond High School — they’ve got a jump start on it. We have a great Environmental Club here and the staff and parent communities are very interested. We’ll piggyback onto what they have learned,” she said.