A 38kW solar PV system marks the Dr. David Suzuki Public School’s entrance, a daily lesson to the students who pass beneath. The Ontario students welcomed the 2010 school year in a new building, where “going green” takes the spotlight.
The PV system is capable of providing up to 10% of the school’s total energy needs. The Greater Essex County School Board expects to activate the new PV system as soon as the Ontario Power Authority Feed-In-Tariff process is complete. The program will reimburse the school for every kW the solar system produces, making it a revenue-generating source.
By including sustainable technology early in the building’s design process, the school hopes to incorporate the new technologies in both student academia and culture. Monitoring software will provide the ability to track the system’s performance as well as create an easily accessible educational opportunity. Information kiosks throughout the building and a website will inform students and guests about the energy and environmental technologies being employed.
The 58,000-square-foot school is seeking LEED-Platinum and would be the first Canadian school to receive Platinum certification. The environmental focus of the construction is helping to spurn interest in PV systems in other school districts.