The Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation received a matching $25,000 grant from the Solar Moonshot Program â€“ a national initiative to help nonprofits switch to solar power â€“ to support the Solar on Eau Claire Schools project, which is in the midst of installing solar panels at North and Memorial high schools.
Supporters say the project will provide a value of more than $900,000 for the district, help with sustainability goals, and bring value to high school STEM courses. Sarah French, executive director of ECPSF, says solar and environmental fields are fast growing and in need of talent: â€śWe are excited that this project will expose our students to new passions and career paths they might not have otherwise considered!â€ť
The 720 solar panels were donated by the Couillard Solar Foundation and are fully installed at North with Memorial to follow. Together, they will generate a combined 252kW of energy â€“ equivalent to taking 33 homes off the grid.Â
â€śBy winter, our high schools will be producing a part of their own electricity, reducing expenses to the school district, and our science teachers will be incorporating renewable energy into their curriculum!â€ť French says. Assuming they clear inspection, the arrays should be switched on by Dec. 1.
â€śThis project has been a bright light for our community and our schools during this strange time,â€ť French adds. â€śWe are thrilled to see it coming to life, and we are so grateful for the communityâ€™s support of it.â€ť To learn more about the project, visit ecpsfound.org.