“LET your light so shine” has become more than a motto for 57-year-old co-ed institution Meadowbrook High; it speaks to its move this school year to include solar into its energy mix.
Principal Michael Peart had proposed the use of solar energy as part of the school’s action plan at the beginning of his tenure three years ago. He believed that going green was a step in the right direction in keeping with the school’s evolving energy needs.
“Our average electricity bills were ranging as high as $500,000 and this was becoming a strain on our limited funds, so we were more than ready to make the energy switch with ATL,” he said, referencing ATL Energy, an arm of Appliance Traders Limited.
Phase one of the installation, which is now complete, is valued $4.2 million and includes 84 solar panels and five grid tie inverters mounted on the school’s auditorium. The 25-kW system will generate 30 per cent of the school’s electricity during its peak periods.
In the summer months, when school is not in session, Meadowbrook High hopes to reap the benefits of selling unused power to Jamaica Public Service and increase the return on its investment.
The school will look at expanding the solar grid in the near future, based on savings.
Head of engineering at ATL Energy, Mark Blair, praised Meadowbrook for the energy conservation move.
“I am always proud to work with and assist educational institutions take strides to become more eco-efficient. This teaches future generations that energy is to be conserved and to think outside the box as there are alternate methods outside of traditional energy supplies.”
As a gift to further promote energy conservation, ATL Energy presented Meadowbrook with a complimentary 9,000 BTU Inverter AC.