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Thanks to the support of Gerding Edlen Sustainable Solutions, Pacific Power and the Energy Trust of Oregon, Pioneer Holladay-Youngson School (formally Pioneer Columbia) became the host of a 52-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system in July 2009. Under the arrangement, the school will generate renewable energy that will be sold to others. In addition to building a dedicated community of renewable energy educators, the Renewable Classroom PLUS project from Solar 4R Schools has transformed the PV system into an interactive classroom tool. In 2009, educators within the school 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. At the time of the project, energy data monitoring allowed students and educators to the system's performance data for educational purposes.
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.