Gov. Linda Lingle, R-Hawaii, has released a $5 million initiative for photovoltaic systems to be installed in at least one public school in each of Hawaii's four counties, as part of the state's effort to increase its energy self-sufficiency.
According to Lingle, a pilot study will determine the cost-effectiveness of solar panel systems in schools throughout the state. The Department of Education (DOE) will rate all public schools to determine the best locations to install the systems, based on solar mapping, area electrical rates and other scheduled maintenance.
‘Using solar energy to supply power to our schools is an innovative solution to one of the challenges in our school system,’ says Lingle. ‘The high cost of powering our school buildings is a major burden for our state, and I am encouraged that the legislature funded this program to use alternative energy sources such as the solar panel systems.’
Following the study, the DOE will determine the cost-effectiveness of the grant and whether or not to expand to more schools statewide. The schools that will receive the solar systems are expected to be named by the DOE by the end of March, and construction is scheduled to be complete by June 2008.