On November 28, 2022, the Board of Trustees joined West Haven Public School staff, students, project partners, and special guests to celebrate the commissioning of the school’s recently completed rooftop solar photovoltaic system.
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) – a partnership of Alberta Municipalities, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and the Government of Alberta – provided the Black Gold School Division with $235,000 in grant funding through its Solar for Schools Program for the rooftop solar photovoltaic project. The Board of Trustees also approved $280,000 in capital reserves to cover the remaining costs.
“We are grateful for the funding received through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre Solar for Schools program,” said Board Chair Esther Eckert. “With the ongoing increases in utility rates, we believe that this project is a prudent investment that will help the DIvision to significantly cut electricity costs and reduce emissions.”
“We are proud to support the Black Gold School Division and their installation of a new solar photovoltaic system on the West Haven Public School,” said Trina Innes, Executive Director, Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. “Not only will this system generate electricity, reduce operating costs, and greenhouse gas emissions, it will provide an excellent learning opportunity for its students.”
The 251 kilowatt solar-powered system will provide the school with a sustainable source of power and help offset energy consumption by approximately 75 per cent annually. The project is also expected to reduce around 150 tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to removing 41 passenger vehicles from the road.
The rooftop-mounted solar panels are relatively maintenance free and are expected to generate power for the solar system’s entire 25-plus year lifecycle.
“Our students were buzzing with excitement as they watched the massive solar panel array being installed,” said West Haven Public School Principal Ray Cable. “Students now get to see live updates on the school’s power usage and the dollars saved as it is displayed on our monitors in the front foyer.”
“As environmental sustainability is a prominent feature in our Science curricula, this project provides a real-life example to students that will inspire them to ask science-related questions and appreciate the positive impacts that scientific advancements bring,” said Assistant Principal Isaac Schnell.