Four Duval County Public Schools will Receive Solar Electric Emergency Shelter Power Systems | Schools

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Four Duval County Public Schools will Receive Solar Electric Emergency Shelter Power Systems
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Four Duval County Public Schools have recently been selected to receive solar electric emergency shelter power systems as part of the SunSmart Schools E-Shelter (Emergency Shelter) program.

The selected schools are LaVilla School of the Arts, Abess Park Elementary, Arlington Middle and Chets Creek Elementary.

Each school will receive a 10-kilowatt solar energy system with a battery backup that will provide power during outages for critical energy needs such as lighting, communications and essential medical equipment. During normal operations, it will offset electricity costs to the school and reduce greenhouse gases.

School sites were competitively selected from applications throughout Florida. Each site had to be a state designated EHPA shelter (not just a general hurricane shelter) and the school needed approximately 1,000 square feet of unobstructed and unshaded space to place the system. Additional requirements included demographics, emergency shelter needs, partnerships, and renewable energy education and outreach.

In addition to the complete solar system installation, each school will receive educational resources and materials, training for school personnel, and professional development for teachers.

The educational component is a key goal of the program. Students at Dr. N.E. Roberts, Haines City High and Palmetto and other schools will be able to learn and see firsthand about renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation. Science kits related to the system and the Energy Whiz website also will be used in the instruction.

Educational objectives include:

• Students will gain a basic understanding of how solar, thermal and photovoltaic systems work

• Students will improve their skills in science and mathematics through the use of inquiry methods as they explore concepts of energy

• Students will understand the importance of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation to their future

• Students will be exposed to careers in the renewable energy and green industries

The three Polk schools will send a minimum of two faculty members to attend orientation workshops hosted by the Florida Solar Energy Center. The workshops will provide teachers with valuable guidance in incorporating the solar educational materials and curriculum into the classroom and incorporating the web-based learning tools.

Each school will send a facilities management staff member to attend workshops to learn operation tips, maintaining and troubleshooting the photovoltaic system and additional information about efficient building use and energy practices. Emergency management personnel from the Polk County Commission will also participate in the workshop.

Go online to www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/sunsmart/e-shelters/faq.htm for details about the SunSmart Schools Emergency Shelter program.

Each solar power system is valued at a minimum of $50,000. The SunSmart Schools E-Shelter program is administered by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

Duval County Public Schools operates 172 schools and serves approximately 123,000 students. The school district is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities that will inspire all students to acquire and use the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a global economy, and culturally diverse world.

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