Almost five years ago IPP put out a report on Iowa schools that were using (or were considering using) wind power to generate electricity. We’re thinking about doing a followup report that might look at not only wind, but solar energy as well.
Do you know of schools around you that have solar panels on their property? Are any thinking about installing solar panels? Are solar panels or wind turbines being used in science classes or other parts of the curriculum in schools in your town? Has the installation of renewable energy generation impacted the way people think of renewables? We’re asking for your help as we seek to better understand where and why schools are choosing to invest in renewables and whether they are seeing benefits.
One example of a school that recently installed a small solar array on it is the Oak Ridge Middle School in Marion, Iowa. A generous donation from the Linn County REC allowed the school to install 20 solar panels totaling 2.6 KW of capacity. The solar array has been integrated into class work and is a valuable learning aide. Real-time data about the system’s output is available online.
Iowa schools are expected to graduate students with a knowledge base that will serve them in the future. Clearly wind and solar power are a part of that future and students who grow up around renewable energy will likely be more comfortable with and accepting of the role renewable energy can and should play across Iowa.
Posted by Will Hoyer, Research Associate