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Chadwick School - 26800 S Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA - (310) 377-1543

News

Volume 65 Number 4

A sunny future for Chadwick: Campus will go solar by 2017

by Lindsey Waller - 2015-02-19

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Chadwick is going solar.

Tori Fay, the faculty member in charge of the project, said that the goal is to implement solar energy within the next two years.

In addition to Fay, students are contributing to the effort to bring Chadwick greener energy. Sophomores Caroline Smith, Amanda Elliott and Brandon Winner lead a committee of students.

Smith focuses on communicating with the student body about the project, as well as getting students involved with the project. Elliott works to incorporate the solar project into the curriculum, while Winner works on the financial elements of the project. The committee meets every week in hopes of achieving substantial progress toward the larger goal.

According to Smith, Elliott, Winner and Fay, the first step toward bringing solar energy to Chadwick is to perform an efficiency study of the campus.

The efficiency study will determine how much energy Chadwick uses, and whether Chadwick’s energy use can be made more efficient.

After the study, the committee can move forward with determining the more practical considerations, such as how many solar panels will be needed and where they will be placed.

The committee has begun initial negotiations for the efficiency study with the San Francisco-based company, Carbon Lighthouse. The study should be completed before this summer, according to Fay. After Carbon Lighthouse completes the study, Chadwick will solicit bids from leaders in the solar industry.

Chadwick’s board has expressed interest in making a financial commitment to fund the project.

Additionally, the Chadwick Parents Assn. has expressed potential interest in helping to fund the project. Winner, his committee, and Fay are working to make sure that the project is economically efficient for Chadwick.

In order to educate the student body about solar energy technologies, the committee plans to attend department meetings to discuss initial plans to incorporate solar energy into Chadwick’s curriculum.

A few classes, including AP Environmental Science, already include solar energy in the curriculum, as solar is one of the class areas of expertise. Elliott and her committee are seeking to expand the teaching of solar energy technology to more science and math classes.

The curriculum changes will help the solar project become a community project, but the committee also hopes to have the students help with the actual maintenance of the project. A section of the solar array will be completely maintained by students.

The solar energy will come from photovoltaic solar panels; however the scale of the project has yet to be determined, said Fay. The number of solar panels will depend on the results of the efficiency study.

Moreover, the committee is unsure whether the solar panels will be limited to rooftops or if standing solar arrays will cover parking lots.

Some local schools including Rolling Hills Prep, have recently conducted similar solar projects. Athenian School in the Bay Area is a national leader in green energy, said Fay.

The school receives more than 70% of its energy needs from its solar array. Chadwick’s solar committee continues to learn and improve the project using the experiences of schools that have already made the transition.

Chadwick has become part of a larger trend moving toward clean energy.

As the effects of climate change become more severe, institutions around the globe have exhibited a dedication to deterring severe climate change through green technology.

Chadwick acts as a leader in this movement because even though green energy--like solar energy--has come into wider use in recent years, in order to significantly diminish the effects of climate change, the movement needs to grow significantly.

Chadwick has taken the first step and is poised to take more.


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Article Keywords:

chadwick, solar, fay, project, energy, elliott, winner, committee, student, curriculum, efficiency, study, panels, school, change


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