Palmer Trinity School, on Oct. 27, dedicated a 22-kilowatt solar power system, the first project of its kind in South Florida, in conjunction with Solaria Design and Consulting Co., a company based in the Florida Keys.
This independent educational institution, serving grades 6-12, plans to utilize this new addition not only to save energy costs but also as an educational tool to continue to promote sustainability efforts.
Designed to provide 22 kilowatts of electricity to the school, this solar electric panel installation comprises 1,866 square feet of Trina solar panels. This photovoltaic system includes a total of 98 solar electric panels, each of which produce 225 watts of electricity. These solar panels are powering the athletic fields as well as a portion of the school library.
Also included in the design is a solar charging station to give students and faculty the opportunity to charge their computers and cell phones.
“We are very excited about this new initiative, which allows us to explore ways to lower our energy cost while extending our efforts in sustainable education,” said Sean Murphy, head of school.
Because the school’s new solar power system is attached to the electric utility company grid, it provides electricity to the community when not being used on campus. As a result of this effort, Palmer Trinity School also received a rebate from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL).
During this event, Murphy honored Julie and Bob Reynolds, parents of PTS student Delaney (Class of 2017), for their generous contributions to the project. Dr. Leopoldo Llinas, director of sustainability at PTS, and Fabiana Vivacqua (Class of 2014) explained how this new installation will serve as an educational tool to all Palmer Trinity School students, and representatives from FPL brought one of their electric vehicles to the event and were on-site to answer any questions about the installation’s renewable energy technology. This ceremony took place at noon, just before kickoff of Palmer Trinity School’s Homecoming Game.
“Students are now able to view online, in real time, the production of the solar panels, analyze how production is affected by weather conditions, determine the amount of money saved on energy, and calculate the pounds of carbon dioxide averted from the atmosphere,” Dr. Llinas said. “With this system, our school is transitioning to a future that includes more sustainable energy, and is helping students evaluate energy resources.”