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Thanks to the support of Gerding Edlen, Portland General Electric and the Energy Trust of Oregon, Creston K-8 School became the host of a 27-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system in July 2009. Under the arrangement, the school will generate renewable energy that will be sold to others.
The Renewable Classroom PLUS project provided by Solar 4R Schools helped Creston extend their commitment to renewable energy education by transforming their PV system into an interactive classroom tool for educators and students throughout their district. Energy monitoring services and equipment provided to Creston has connected the real-time performance data from the 27-kilowatt system to the Energy Exploration Center at Solar4RSchools.org. Students and educators nationwide can chart, graph and analyze the system's performance data for educational purposes. To help engage school visitors, a Solar 4R Schools touchscreen kiosk was placed in a high traffic area of the school, giving visitors access to the system's energy generation data in real time.
In 2009, educators at Creston Elementary also received a customized renewable energy teacher training, hands-on science kit materials to augment the school's existing curricula, and complete access to the resources available on the Solar4RSchools.org website.
As part of Portland Public Schools' continuing effort to improve the learning environment for their students, the District installed new roofs and seismically upgraded nine schools during the summer of 2009. Notable in this project was the use of thin-film silicon solar cells on the roofs. It is the District's hope that this project will inspire students to pursue careers and make decisions that make the world a better place. You can view a sketchup of the system here.