As society continues to choose alternative energy sources to improve the health of the planet, our school seems to be joining the movement. With the installment of over 1500 solar panels on the roof of Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical High School, we have become more eco-friendly!
Governor Kathy Hochul had released a new initiative to increase the amount of solar panels spread throughout New York City’s Public Buildings.
Without hesitation, our principal Moses Ojeda jumped at the opportunity to get our school to be a part of this program. He enlisted the help of Solar1, a non profit organization that protects the environment and provides the resources to help others do the same.
He also enlisted the help of Anthony Cooper, a teacher at Thomas Edison High School who was able to train with Solar1 through the school. With his training, he is able to teach students who are enrolled in the Electrical & Solar Installation Technologies course about these panels and let them see for themselves how they work.
Solar Panels was chosen as the alternative energy source for Thomas Edison High School for many reasons. First, it offsets the building’s energy cost by 65% which frees up the budget for other uses. Second, it opens up so many opportunities for students whether it is internships or training for a future career in solar panel installation. Like other CTE programs, the school does what it can to prepare students for what comes next. Third, we were provided most of the resources courtesy of Solar1.
According to Mr. Cooper, “Solar1 provided us with solar panels, charge controllers and the equipment so we can teach the kids and they provide us with professional development.”
The building seems to become more and more energy efficient as time goes on. Besides the solar panels, adjustments to the school were made in order to become more energy efficient and eco-friendly. The lights in the hallways and around the school’s perimeter have been changed to LEDs instead of normal light bulbs. These LEDS last a very long time, produce no toxins, and they are much brighter. If the school is able to replace all the bulbs throughout the school with LEDs, less money would be spent on our energy costs and instead could go towards a better education experience for the next generation of students.