Cliff Valley School covered its gymnasium roof with solar panels in August, completing the largest solar project undertaken by an Atlanta area school. With a capacity of 62.56 kW, the school expects to meet up to one third of its energy needs via solar power by the end of 2017.
"Why don't we have solar cells?" 7th graders asked during a science unit on energy. Teachers helped them link with Southface and Solarize Decatur-DeKalb to make the case for adding solar panels. It was fall 2016, and when analysis showed a positive return on investment in just a few years the school's administration acted quickly. "Cliff Valley continues to lead by showing its peers that solar has benefits beyond lowering long-term operating expenses," said Shan Arora, Southface Policy Program Manager. "Solar energy reduces our impact on the environment, enhances our local economy and provides students with continuing opportunities to engage in science." The board of trustees funded the project within a few months, and Hannah Solar began installation in July.
"We're proud to be among the first schools to make a substantial investment in sustainable energy," commented Head of School Michael Edwards. "We have history of leadership when it comes to environmental education, and our facilities reflect that in many ways."
Don Moreland, Solar Crowdsource Founder, weighed in: "The story of how solar came to be at Cliff Valley is amazing. Beginning with the curiosity of a few students to the decisive leadership of school administrators, we hope this story will inspire other schools to do the same."
About Cliff Valley
Cliff Valley School is an independent, nonsectarian, accredited school for students from age three through eighth grade. A mainstay in North Atlanta since 1966, Cliff Valley provides outstanding education focused on children's academic and social development in a caring community environment.
About Solar CrowdSource
Solar CrowdSource offers Solarize and Crowdfunding campaign tools and services that are easily accessible and help remove barriers to obtaining and investing in solar energy.
About Hannah Solar
Hannah Solar is a full service solar integrator dedicated to providing the very best in engineering, products, installation and service of commercial and residential solar arrays, electric vehicle charging stations, energy storage systems and critical backup generators.
Southface inspires market-based solutions at the nexus of the natural, social and built environments. Since 1978 Southface has served as the Southeast's nonprofit leader in promoting sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance.
SOURCE: Cliff Valley School