Hazen High School and Dimmitt Middle School soon will install solar panels like those in the photo on the roof of the schools as part of a renewable energy demonstration program with Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light.
July 17, 2009 — Renton School District is getting really serious about energy conservation. The district has joined with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Seattle City Light to begin resource conservation programs to reduce consumption and costs of natural resources such as natural gas, electricity, water, and solid waste, which cost school districts across the state millions of dollars annually. Our collaborative effort with the utilities provides the district a tremendous opportunity to reduce consumption of natural resources and to drastically reduce greenhouse emissions.
PSE recently announced the Renton schools district were among four other area school districts to receive grants to install solar demonstration projects, that includes monitoring software and classroom curriculum, to allow students to track how much electrical energy is being produced from the sun. The 2 kW solar panel array will generate enough power on average, to operate 15 notebook computers for 1,000 hours. In addition to the wall-mounted solar panels, the PSE grants include inverters that change the direct current (DC) from the panels to alternating current (AC) feed directly to each school’s electrical system. The monitoring software, as well as teaching, training and lesson plans were developed by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) as part of its Solar 4R Schools program. We are also collaborating with Seattle City Light (SCL) on a similar solar demonstration project in their service territory at Dimmitt MS, the Viking One project will be a roof mounted solar array and will also include the same education and training provided by the BEF.
School districts qualifying for the Solar 4R Schools program submitted proposals earlier this year detailing their educational goals, how their project will use renewable energy technologies at the sites and what steps will be taken to increase community awareness of the potential for using renewable energy technologies. PSE expects to offer a new round of grants in early 2010.
Another agreement the district recently entered into with PSE, includes a provision to use some of the savings from energy-conservation efforts to hire a district Resource Conservation Manager devoted to reducing costs and conserving a variety of energy, water and environmental resources. J. Stine has been hired for the position, and comes to the district with specialized training in Energy Management, Energy Controls, as well as years working as an Energy Specialist at the Washington State Energy Office, and as a senior energy consultant with the Clinton White House Climate Change Action Plan Program. This new utility sponsored position will assist the district to become a local, regional and national leader in resource conservation, and renewable energy.
Stine is working directly with schools to reduce energy consumption, promote renewable energy, create uniform recycling programs, and provide students, teachers and staff with materials and data to better understand the value of energy conservation practices, and an energy profile of their facilities.
Schools currently have a number of interior and exterior lighting and control projects funded through the last bond measure. The district expects that with a concentrated mix of highly efficient energy conservation measures, along with some minor behavioral adjustments, substantial savings will be realized.
Renton School District is not unfamiliar with energy conservation; in 1989 the district received an Excellence in Energy Management award, by the Governors Energy Team. Most recently two outstanding examples of the result of resource conservation efforts showcased Bryn Mawr Elementary School and McKnight Middle School, which were awarded the EPA “Energy Star” in 2002. The schools were the first school facilities in the Northwest to meet such high standards for resource conservation and energy efficiency.
Contact: Randy Matheson | Executive Director
Community Relations 425.204.2345 | firstname.lastname@example.org