Ben's Blog

  • Idaho Arts Charter School Installs Solar

    The Idaho Arts Charter School celebrated its new 1.792 kW system on October 25 during a school assembly.

    Jackie Collins, principal of Idaho Arts Charter School, received a giant commemorative “sun” plaque from Idaho Power Regional Customer Relations Manager Jake Perryman during a school assembly. The celebration included a performance of “Here Comes The Sun” by yellow-clad students welcoming their new solar project.

    "Receiving this grant will allow our students to have a ‘hands on’ ability to learn about solar power,” said Collins. “Using new technology to analyze and compare solar and electric power will excite the students at Idaho Arts Charter for many years. Students are also always interested in ways to help reduce our footprint on the earth."

    Click here for more information from Idaho Power.

    Also, check out the news coverage on!

  • Helman Elementary School Celebrates Solar

    Students, teachers and community members celebrated their recent Solar 4R Schools solar installation on September 28 in Ashland, Oregon. The following is a video of the festivities. Enjoy!


  • Lone Rock School Installs Solar

    The Lone Rock School in Stevensville, Montana held a media day for its new Solar 4R Schools solar installation on June 6. According to a report by TV station KPAX 8, many of the students at Lone Rock are excited by renewable energy.

    "It powers our electricity and our bathrooms, and just about everything in the school" added fellow sixth grader Alex Shepherd.

    The sixth grade students we talked with are learning about solar energy.

    "I think they love anything new as long as it's new and different, they like that,"Lone Rock School Superintendent David Cluff explained.

    Lone Rock hasn't started teaching the curriculum yet, but already kids are catching on to what the panels do, and how they're helping the environment.

    "Saving the environment from all the coal burning and pollution," Garrett Cleveland commented.

    "We don't have to use anymore of the gasoline, the coal, pretty much all we need is the sun which will be shining quite a bit," sixth grade student Richard Malachnski said.

    The students, including Shepher, are also thinking about the panels long term. "It might help me in the future, it might get me a job."

  • Snohomish County PUD looking for a few good projects

    Snohomish County PUD is requesting applications for Solar Photovoltaic Public Demonstration Projects from schools, non-profit businesses and public organizations through its Planet Power program. To download instructions and apply, visit

    The due date for the application is May 20, 2011.

  • Wind Turbine Workshop sparks career search for OYA students

    A Wind Turbine workshop for area teachers held in Portland earlier this summer made a big impression on Frank Martin, an Education Coordinator at Oregon Youth Authority. The workshop, sponsored by BEF, the Energy Trust of Oregon and KidWind, showed teachers how to teach about wind energy and gave them the tools needed to reach their students. Martin's students at OYA have since learned about the power of wind and a host of potential careers in the industry. The workshop made such an impression, that it was highlighted in OYA's September newsletter - Inside OYA.

  • Purchases with BEF will be matched by Jack Johnson, go to support Solar 4R Schools

    All purchases from now until October 15, 2010 will be matched by Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, an endowment founded by musician Jack Johnson to support environmental, art and music education now and into the future. The matched funds will be used to support BEF’s award winning Solar 4R Schools Program.

    Shop now at BEF:

    Go to BEF Calculator here.
  • Dimmitt Middle School unveils new solar installation

    Seattle City Light and Renton School District celebrated their Viking 1 Solar Project last week, located at Dimmitt Middle School. The 2.58 kW system was energized in April and is the 28th solar installation completed by our funding partner Seattle City Light.

    Real time production data for the project can be found at

    Seattle City Light also did a nice write-up of the project at


  • BEF gives a grant to NOLS, works to restore Teton River

    The Bonneville Environmental Foundation gave a grant to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to begin installation of a Solar Array on its building in Driggs, Idaho.  NOLS teaches outdoor skills and leadership to students from around the world and is receiving additional funds from its local electric utility, Fall River Electric Cooperative.  Construction should begin sometime this summer.

    Coincidentally, BEF is also working to restore the Teton River near Driggs, one of its 12 Model Watershed Projects located throughout the Northwest and California. In this video, BEF President Angus Duncan talks about both projects and explains how BEF works with communities to make a positive difference for our environment.

    For more information about BEF’s Model Watershed Projects, visits Visit for more info about the Solar 4R Schools program.

  • Portland, Oregon classroom earns LEED Platinum certification

    The Evans-Harvard High Performance Classroom at the da Vinci Arts Middle School in Portland, OR, was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification making it the only K-12 public school building to achieve this level of certification. The classroom is part of the Solar 4R Schools program, was designed by SRG Partnership and constructed by Todd Hess Building Company. The classroom features natural daylighting and passive cooling systems that help it track toward net-zero energy use. The building has earned accolades in the press including The New York Times for its innovative design and its potential impact on student performance.

    "It's gratifying to have this project recognized for its contribution as the highest caliber asset in Portland Public School's inventory of educational facilities. This classroom provides an ongoing educational laboratory for students, educators, parents and administrators of what is possible with respect to resource efficiency." - Nancy Bond, Portland Public Schools.

  • Northwest Youth Corps celebrates at Solarbration

    The Northwest Youth Corps (NYC) in Eugene Oregon dedicated their BEF-funded solar array on May 15 with an event they called "Solarbration." Northwest Youth Corps is a youth development and outdoor education organization that has provided opportunities to more than 10,000 young people since its establishment in 1984. This event showcased the solar array and all the work NYC does to improve the environment. There was a plant sale, demonstration of sun ovens and other renewable energy learning tools.


    Northwest Youth Corps Solarbration from Bonneville Environmental Foundation on Vimeo.

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