Solar Power in Idaho Schools

Patrica Hawke

The corporation, Idaho Power, partnered with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, to create Idaho Power\'s Solar 4R Schools, to help schools cut back on energy bills and teach students about going green. They are starting by installing solar panels to K-12 schools in Idaho Power\'s service area. What’s great about this is not only the fact that they are able to cut costs and save the environment, but also with each installation there is a system implemented to monitor data from these panels and a curriculum package created to teach students about going green and renewable energy.
 
The schools apply by applying to the program stating their interest in renewable energy and how they plan on using the data from the solar panels to educate the kids about the environment and going green.
 
By installing solar panels, electrical costs could potentially be cut in half, benefiting the school greatly. By saving them money, they can focus more on the kids. These solar panels, if they hadn\'t got them for free because of the program, could cost upward of 1.5 Million to install. The initial expense is costly and will take time to pay back, but in the long run, they will be saving money and saving the environment.
 
Doesn’t it seem rational that all new schools be built from now on with solar panels? The cost would be more but its worth it. If us taxpayers have to pay a little extra to help save our environment for our children and children\'s children\'s, its worth it.
 
The renewable energy curriculum also helps to give kids a new found respect for the environment and gives them something to feel good about. By being educated by the solar panels curriculum, they might have the need to recycle and use water filters, reusable shopping bags etc. All of these could help our earth greatly by starting to diminish waste and costs associated with it. By teaching kids early and instilling it in their brains that recycling and going green is the way to be, they will grow up not thinking twice about going green, they already are.
 
Solar 4R Schools is now reaching out to more than just Idaho. They are also reaching out to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Vermont and Maine to give schools in these states the ability to write to the foundation and apply for the free installation of the solar panels.