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Sun Power for Schools

Sun Power for Schools - Oahu

Sun Power for Schools is a demonstration and educational program initiated in 1996 to teach students and the community about renewable energy systems by demonstrating 1- to 2-kilowatt rooftop solar electric systems at selected public schools.

Over the span of 19 years, the program flourished and grew. Through the partnership among donors, the Hawaii Department of Education, participating schools, and Hawaiian Electric, over 80 kilowatts of rooftop solar systems were installed at 46 schools. In addition to the renewable energy each system provides to its school, the systems offer teachers tangible learning tools that are supported by educational material. To further educate students about renewable energy, Hawaiian Electric used a grant for the development of a renewable energy teaching manual, which includes lesson plans and activities that are aligned with the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards (HCPSII). This manual was made available to participating middle and high school teachers.


Status of the Sun Power for Schools Program

Photovoltaics technology matured and became widely adopted. Consequently, with approval from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, Hawaiian Electric revised the Sun Power for Schools program. Effective in July 2015, the new program, Smart Power for Schools, will demonstrate emerging renewable energy technologies, energy management and efficiency tools, and equipment that will help integrate more renewable energy into a modern electric grid.


Purpose and Objectives of Sun Power for Schools

  • To encourage renewable energy education for Hawaii's school children
  • To demonstrate how solar and wind resources produce electricity
  • To provide a working model that demonstrates carbon dioxide (CO2) displacement by the use of emissionless power generation

Partners

  • Hawaiian Electric
  • State of Hawaii Department of Education
  • Members of the community