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Johnson Controls today announced it has completed a solar installation at Salt Lake City School District’s Hillside Middle School, the first of many schools participating in Utah State Energy Program’s new Solar for Schools program. Solar for Schools is a statewide energy education initiative created to help Utah students learn the value of renewable energy technology first hand. The energy education program is slated to be the first of its kind in the state of Utah.
The Utah State Energy Program selected Johnson Controls to oversee the design and installation of 73 solar photovoltaic arrays at schools throughout the state, with at least one array in each of the state’s 41 districts. Johnson Controls will install 5kW PV systems as a part of the Solar for Schools program. The program is funded by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“Solar technology is one of the best sources of renewable energy in Utah and is at the forefront of the national energy mix. With Solar for Schools, the state will be able to produce clean energy while providing students with the opportunity to learn about these technologies,” said Elise Brown, renewable energy coordinator, Utah State Energy Program. “The program is an investment in energy education, the community and in securing our energy independence.”
Solar for Schools provides the scholastic resources for Utah students to learn about renewable energy technologies through interactive projects. Students will have the ability to track live data from the solar installations, compare the data across schools throughout the state, and measure the effects of temperature and location of the energy output. The program also includes a comprehensive K-12 curriculum and teacher training on the benefits of using energy generated by the sun.
“As energy efficiency continues to be a critical issue around the globe, it’s vital to bridge the gap between renewable energy technology and student energy education,” said Bruno Biasiotta, vice president and general manager, Energy Solutions Americas, Johnson Controls. “This program provides Utah students with the knowledge and benefits that clean energy can have both now and well into the future.”
The total installation of the 73 arrays is expected to remove more than 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over 20 years, equivalent to the carbon offset that would be generated by planting 11,000 trees and letting them grow for ten years.
The National Energy Foundation (NEF) will provide the renewable energy curriculum training for 200 teachers in Utah. Training workshops will include hands-on demonstrations appropriate for teaching all grade levels. The curriculum highlights solar, wind, and geothermal technologies and can be integrated with science, technology, social studies, math, and language arts lessons for K-12 students. Additional educational resources are provided through NEF’s Renewable Energy Academy website www.academyofenergy.org.
“Providing our future energy leaders with the resources and educational opportunities to drive environmental stewardship is at the heart of this program,” said Bob Poulson, president, National Energy Foundation. “The knowledge these students will gain as a result of Solar for Schools will have a positive, lasting impact for the local and global community.”
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Its 130,000 employees create quality products, services, and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Its commitment to sustainability dates back to 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat.
Johnson Controls Building Efficiency is a leading provider of equipment, controls, and services for heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and security systems for buildings. Operating from 500 branch offices in 150 countries, we deliver products, services, and solutions that increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs for over one million customers. It is involved in more than 500 renewable energy projects including solar, wind, and geothermal technologies. Its solutions have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13.6 million metric tons and generated savings of $7.5 billion since 2000.
The Utah State Energy Program (USEP), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy provides direct support and access to federal funding for energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy programs and projects in the State of Utah. USEP is currently administering $47,000,000 of ARRA funding amongst 25 programs, directed for energy efficiency, renewable energy, education and outreach projects statewide.
National Energy Foundation is a unique 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of cultivating and promoting an energy literate society. NEF develops, disseminates and implements supplementary educational materials, programs and courses that relate primarily to energy, water, natural resources, science and math, technology, conservation and the environment. These teaching resources recognize the importance and contribution of natural resources to our economy, to our national security, the environment and our quality of life.
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