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Woodruff Career and Technical Center

Peoria, Ill., school receives $1.5 million to install 545 solar panels

Oct. 25, 2021
Woodruff Career and Technical Center will receive settlement funds from a pollution lawsuit to pay for the panels.

Settlement funds from a pollution lawsuit will pay for installation of 545 solar panels at the Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria, Ill.

The Peoria Journal Star reports that the solar panels will be installed on the roof of the school's two gymnasiums. 

The $1.5 million for the panels comes from an $8.6 million settlement of a lawsuit against the Edwards Power Plant in Bartonville, Ill.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Respiratory Health Association sued the plant in 2013, contending that its polluting violated the Clean Air Act. The case was settled in 2019; the Edwards plant is required to close by the end of 2022, and the company has to provide at least $8.6 million in funding for projects to benefit the Peoria region.

The technical center is establishing a  program to prepare students for jobs in the growing field of renewable energy.

Once the school has hooked up the panels, students will be able to monitor how much energy is produced each day, and they will also be able to compare how much energy the panels create on sunny days and non-sunny days. 

The solar panels will also reduce energy costs at the center, which is housed in the former Woodruff High School. 

Woodruff Career and Technical Center is part of the Peoria school district. Students enrolled in the program are transported to Woodruff for a portion of the school day to learn a skill that could lead to employment. 

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