Student Driven Solar Can Power up Michigan Schools

Solar Contest Details Announced

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN — Announcing the My Solar School Contest, where students drive innovation and leadership in solar investments at Michigan schools.

Clean energy investments in Michigan public schools can save 20% or more on annual operating costs - up to $100 million statewide. With over 5,500 schools across the country investing in solar installations that are saving money on electric bills, educating students about clean energy, and ensuring a brighter future for the next generation, it’s time for Michigan to be a leader in this growing solar jobs sector.

“We’ve seen this model work before; assisting and empowering students to participate in clean energy project development and implementation can result in saving money on electric bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions within school districts,” says Jason Bing, Healthy Buildings Director at the Ecology Center.

The My Solar School Contest is intended to inspire and support teams of students in grades 6-12 as they pursue solar electric installations at their school. Student-led teams, including teachers and parents, will compete for the chance to win cash prizes and technical support for their solar school project. The My Solar School Contest will provide guidelines to assist teams in exploring the solar potential of their school with the help of partner organizations, professional “solar mentors” that will be available for teleconference or in-person technical assistance to interested student teams. “Every team that participates will come out of the competition a winner; beginning an exploration into having solar photovoltaics installed at their school will build valuable skills and elevate energy literacy for everyone involved,” says Emile Lauzzana, Michigan director of the US Green Building Council.

Pre-registration for the My Solar School contest is now open. The contest submission deadline is March 30, 2018. Winning teams will be announced and recognized at the annual Michigan Earth Day Festival, held in Rochester, MI.

The contest is part of a Solar Schools national initiative to provide school-based teams tools and resources to increase solar integration at K-12 schools. “The dramatic decline in the cost of solar panels combined with new financing options has now made solar widely accessible, creating tremendous untapped potential among the majority of schools still without solar,” says Tish Tablan, national organizer, Generation 180.

My Solar School Contest is a collaborative project of the Ecology Center and the U.S. Green Building Council Detroit Region, in partnership with Generation 180, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, EcoWorks and the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan Region.

For more information on the My Solar School Contest, visit www.ecocenter.org/my-solar-school-contest.

The Michigan Renewable Schools Program provides technical energy assistance and financing guidance to K-12 students, staff, and school community representatives. Our experience and resources support K-12 facility efforts to save money, reduce operating expenses, and improve classroom environments.

Published on November 29, 2017