Gladstone Center for Children and Families
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The 99.79-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system at Gladstone Center for Children and Families is one of three similar PV systems installed on area buildings in 2011. These projects are a public-private partnership that combines private energy investor funding and the donated roof space from each school. The partnership provides the Center with free solar power generated by the PV systems for 15 years, saving the Center each year in electricity costs. The PV system installed on the roof is rated to produce about 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
Through the award of a Renewable Classroom PLUS project from Solar 4R Schools™, the school has transformed the school's PV system into an interactive classroom tool while building a community of dedicated renewable energy educators. Energy monitoring services have connected the live performance data from their PV system to the Energy Exploration Center at Solar4RSchools.org, allowing students and educators to compare and contrast key system performance data to other project systems nationwide.
In addition, in 2011 teachers at the school received a customized renewable energy teacher training, hands-on science kit materials to augment the school's existing curricula, and complete access to the resources available on the Solar4RSchools.org website. To optimize integration of renewable energy science and technology content, every aspect of the support provided by Solar 4R Schools™ was customized to fit the unique focus of the school community, including topics covered in the teacher training as well as our recommendations for activities and science kit materials to make integration of this new content as efficient as possible. A touchscreen kiosk located in a high traffic area of the Center allows staff and visitors to interact with live system performance data while learning about the science and benefits of renewable energy.