The story of our new solar panels has a distinctly College Prep feel to it. In the fall of 2008, senior Abby H. wrote a research paper for her AP Environmental Science (APES) class. With the help of the school’s Chief Financial Officer, Abby performed an energy audit on the entire school, analyzing College Prep’s energy use and proposing ways to help the school reduce its carbon footprint.
Abby’s tremendous project revealed that adding solar panels to the large roof of the Baldwin Gymnasium would reduce our carbon footprint as well as the school’s energy bill. Around this same time, College Prep’s Green Council was formed, led by APES teacher Jonna Smyth. The council is comprised of students, parents, and faculty and aims to further reduce the school’s carbon footprint through action-based initiatives.
Thanks to Abby and the Green Council, the gym’s solar panels (installed by Borrego Solar) should be functioning by the start of the school year and will provide enough energy to offset our PG&E bill by 20%! We hope to add more solar panels in the near future to other buildings to offset another 20% of our energy costs. Below are some photos of the project.