Solar panels are becoming a popular source of energy
both locally and nationally.
To contribute to sustainability.
a local organization is teaming up with schools for
solar energy projects.
News 8's Sarah Thamer was on sight for a new solar
project today and joins us with the story.
Dairyland Power Cooperative is partnering with Western
Technical College in Independence for its Solar for
Schools renewable energy initiative.
The solar generation project will be brought online
at Western's Independence campus and will feature
thirty six panels to generate renewable energy for
The increasing use of solar energy remains sky high....
It's pretty clear that the trend in the energy field
is to more and more renewable sustainable resources.
Because unlike several years ago, the *cost* of solar
power, is much lower.
Historically they were very expensive and took a long
payback but the cost and the quality of solar has
come down dramatically especially in the last two
or three years.
Which is why industries like Dairyland Cooperative
and Western Technical College teamed up to build four
solar arrays which have nine panels wired in each.
It's a project aimed to use the sun's energy for a
If we're gonna try to keep down the cost for students,
in terms of tuition we have to also keep down our
energy cost and this will help us with that.
The panels use GPS positioning to track where the
sun will be, and will produce an estimated 12-thousand
kilowatt hours of energy per year, offsetting the
campus' energy use by nearly 15 percent.
On the sunny days it'll produce energy for the campus
that they won't have to get from other sources, they
won't be buying it from the utility and the utility
in turn wont be making it from a coal plant.
And because of solar energy, the future is looking
a little brighter...
The reduction in our energy is an important part of
this puzzle but truly what Dairyland saw in their
vision and what we were asking for was a way to train
students who are also excited about this technology,
if we're gonna grow the use of renewables, and make
that something that's broadened into the future, we've
gotta get a younger generation interested in this
type of technology in both supporting it and maintaining
it and using it.
The cost of the solar arrays for this project was
about sixty-thousand-dollars which officials say is
expensive because of the special tracking system the
Western Technical staff will be able to monitor total
and hourly outputs and students will be able to use
the data as part of their curriculum.
There are currently 12 kilowatt solar installations
under construction at Alma Area School.
Cochrane-Foundation City School and De Soto Area Middle
School and High School.