SolarCity Deploys Solar Education Systems in California
SolarCity has joined with Pacific
Gas and Electric Company's "Solar Schools Program" and the Foundation for
Environmental Education (FEE) in agreeing to install more than 70
1-kilowatt solar learning towers this year that will catalyze solar power
interest and education around the state.
Today, SolarCity announces its first installations at the Oakland Zoo's
Maddie's Center for Science and Environmental Education and at the
Pescadero Elementary School in Pescadero, Ca. The 10'x10' solar systems are
intended to become monuments to solar power and rallying points for
resource conservation and education in the community. Zoo visitors and
students will soon be able to compare the power generated from these
learning towers to over 60 similar 1kW PG&E Solar Schools Program projects
around California, while learning core facts about solar energy on
adjoining information kiosks.
"In providing these grants, equipment and curricula, we hope to help
educate students on the benefits of clean, renewable energy sources like
solar power, and inspire them to become the solar inventors and scientists
of tomorrow," said Ophelia Basgal, Pacific Gas and Electric Company vice
president of civic partnerships and community initiatives. "PG&E's Solar
Schools Program brings together our commitment to renewable energy, energy
efficiency and education in a way that will benefit students, schools, and
the community for years to come."
"Conservation and a greener footprint are two important concerns for
us," said Dr. Joel Parrot, Executive Director of the Oakland Zoo. "With the
work of SolarCity
and the PG&E Solar Schools Program
, we can help
address these important sustainability issues while providing a central
location for bringing clean energy awareness to our visitors," he said.
The program is funded charitably by PG&E, in partnership with two
nonprofit implementation partners: the National Energy Education
Development Project, which assists in developing a solar curriculum and
educational materials, and the Foundation for Environmental Education,
which helps coordinate system installations.
For 2007, PG&E committed $2.5 million towards expanding the Solar
Schools program. The program involves installation of photovoltaic systems
in over 40 additional schools, a solar based curriculum training package,
workshops for teachers in addition to funding "Bright Ideas" which supports
innovative solar science projects in classrooms. Each photovoltaic system
generates just over 1 kilowatt, or enough to provide for the power needs of
lighting a classroom. Since its inception in 2004, PG&E's Solar Schools
program has trained over 400 teachers and benefited over 60 schools
"Teaching the importance of clean, sustainable energy solutions is a
social responsibility, and one of the most important lessons we can impart
on future leaders," said SolarCity's Chief Executive, Lyndon Rive. "We are
proud to have lent assistance to the Oakland Zoo for their solar project,
and we are excited to continue working with Solar Schools Program and
bringing opportunities for solar education to students in more than 70
schools across the region," he said.
SolarCity will remotely service and monitor the solar systems via the
Internet with SolarGuard, its proprietary monitoring system, while
providing learning centers a special Web portal allowing visitors an
opportunity to monitor and compare solar electricity production throughout
the state in real time.
"By offering a technology that can interconnect and analyze school
systems over the Internet, we will be able to offer additional learning
opportunities emphasizing the importance of sustainable energy," said Glen
Kizer, President of the Foundation for Environmental Education. "We intend
to connect our projects in California with others around the country and
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