Construction Zone: Lighting the way

Head-Royce School, Oakland, Calif.

Head-Royce School is an independent, 800-student, co-educational K-12 school in Oakland, Calif.

In 2006, the school formed a green council to demonstrate how to establish a more sustainable way of living, focusing on four areas: sustainable resources, nutritional food, an ecological curriculum and a healthful environment. One of the initiatives recently completed is the installation of a 72-kW solar electric power system.

The system consists of two solar arrays, one on the school's gymnasium with 312 solar panels and the other on the middle school with 100 panels.

The combined system covers about 6,000 square feet and produces about 70,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year. This is enough power to reduce the school's annual electricity costs by about 35 percent. The inverters also are linked through a Web-based data monitoring service that acts as an additional learning tool for students.

“We want to help our students understand the environmental sustainability that we all face, and going solar is one of the most important components in this effort,” says Paul Chapman, head of the school.

The solar power system was designed and installed by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.)

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