Solar 4R Schools blogs

  • 2nd Annual Green Schools Conference

    At the end of February the Solar 4R Schools team attended the 2nd Annual Green Schools Conference held in Denver, CO. 

    This conference brought together sustainability consultants, LEED architects, vendors, educators, government officials and district administrators.

    The team was able to attend break out sessions on renewable energy cirricula development, integrating solar in school remodel and construction projects, and project managment and funding experiences. 

    A bus tour out to the Denver School of Science and Technology to see first hand implementation of many sustainable building tools and systems... click here for more information on DSST.

    The conference was a great opportunity to meet other players in renewable energy education and we will be working to incorporate some of the lessons and take away items in our future renewable energy activity development efforts.

  • 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.

  • Live Wind Turbine Raising Today At Skyline School

    The Skyline School in Portland, Oregon is raising its wind turbine and tower today between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. today Pacific Time. You can check out a live video cam feed of the installation at:

    Enter USERNAME: skylinek8 (lowercase)
    PASSWORD: windy (lowercase) to view the live feed.

    You may need to enter the username and password several times at each prompt.

    The XZERES 110 is a 2.5 kilowatt (KW) wind turbine that will be placed on a 90-foot monopole tower that is capable of producing approximately 4,265 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually.

    That is enough energy to power two average classrooms for a year or a video game system for 25 years straight!

    The Skyline School Wind Turbine Project was made possible by funding from the Northwest Environmental Defense Council, the Energy Trust of Oregon, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the Oregon Department of Energy Business Energy Tax Credit.


  • 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.