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Kennebunk School Saves Energy
Grant Paid for by Mainers through Voluntary Electric Bill Check-off
January 23, 2008
Maine Public Utilities Commission Press Release Maine Public Utilities Commission 242 State Street Augusta, Maine 04333-0018 Website: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Nicole Clegg, 207-287-8519, 207-310-0123 (cell) Nicole.Clegg@maine.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jan. 23, 2008 Middle School of the Kennebunks Achieves Elephant-Sized Energy Savings with Help from Efficiency Maine Grant Paid for by Mainers through Voluntary Electric Bill Check-off
Kennebunk, ME, January 23, 2008 -- Maine Public Utilities Commissioner Vendean Vafiades today presented the Middle School of the Kennebunks with a Voluntary Renewable Resources Fund (VRRF) grant certificate for $35,213 for its efforts to use solar energy and teach students about its benefits.
The school recently installed 33 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels which will produce approximately 700 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity each month, offsetting the release of emissions equivalent to the approximate weight of an African elephant -10,902 lbs of carbon dioxide, 15 lbs of sulfur dioxide, and 10 lbs of nitrous oxides.
Commissioner Vafiades said the Middle School of the Kennebunks solar project would not only produce clean electricity for the school’s use, but would allow students to learn in real time more about the benefits of solar power.
“It’s encouraging to note that of the latest ten grant recipients, the Middle School of the Kennebunks is one of four pre-college educational institutions to receive funds, which shows that Maine’s students are learning about the importance of alternative energy sources from an early age,” Vafiades said.
In addition to 33 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels and an inverter, the installation includes Sunny Web Box hardware that will allow access to the solar energy production statistics on the worldwide web. By typing in www.sunnyportal.com, computer users can see graphs of instantaneous output as well as historical charts, useful links, and comparisons with photovoltaic installations at other locations.
Frances Farr, the Middle School Principal said the benefits of the project would extend beyond the classroom.
“I imagine a student going home and sharing our energy model and questioning how the family could save energy. This project will ‘generate’ interest, inquiry, and opportunity for far-reaching changes in our school environment and beyond,” Farr said.
The VRRF was established by the Legislature in 2000 and is supported by voluntary contributions made by consumers on their electric bill. The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which operates the VRRF, as well as Efficiency Maine, which encourages the efficient use of electricity, offers grants of up to $50,000 to qualifying Maine-based nonprofits for the development of a project utilizing renewable resources like wind, water, sun, wood, tides, trash-to-energy, fuel cells and geothermal energy.
For more information on the Voluntary Renewable Resource Fund, please contact Shirley Bartlett of the PUC at 287-3318 or Shirley.email@example.com or visit the MPUC website - www.maine.gov/mpuc/
For further information contact Pekka Paavonpera at (207) 775-5227 or 1631 680 7585.
Middle School of the Kennebunks Achieves Elephant-Sized Energy Savings with Help from Efficiency Maine
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