Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) December 9, 2009
Springside School, a Pre-K-12 school for girls committed to educating enlightened leaders for the 21st century, unveiled the largest solar array in Philadelphia on Friday, November 20th. The "Flip the Switch" ceremony took place at 12 noon in the Vare Field House on Springside's Chestnut Hill campus.
The 94kW array blankets 10,000 square feet of the field house roof. Over its lifetime, energy produced by the system will have the benefit of eliminating nearly 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of planting more than 44,000 trees.
The project was conceived by Springside graduates of the Class of 1966 to honor their 40th reunion. Their fundraising efforts and those of the school's parent association combined with a $400,000 grant from the state's Energy Harvest program to secure a rooftop full of solar panels.
"By extending the Energy Harvest grant to leading schools such as Springside, we're making sure Pennsylvania is doing everything it can to wire young people for energy conservation and to power the workforce for a new energy economy," said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. "Making this kind of investment today is crucial to continue developing clean energy resources and growing the Keystone State's green energy sector."
Speakers at the unveiling included Kristin Sullivan, Program Director for the Solar City partnership from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. The school is proud to align its environmental efforts with those of the City of Philadelphia, designated one of 25 "Solar America" cities in the country.
"Springside's tradition of stewardship is deeply rooted," said Head of School Dr. Priscilla Sands. "Over many years, across the grades and throughout the curriculum, we have worked to preserve and improve the natural world around us. Understanding problems, working for solutions, and accepting individual responsibility are the hallmarks of a Springside education--preparing our students one green footprint at a time as they walk in confidence into their future."
At Springside, rubber boots worn for forest work share locker space with sneakers, scraps from the cafeteria are composted daily, stormwater runoff is monitored and creek water analyzed, and the student-run recycling was the first school program to partner with RecycleBank and has diverted hundreds of thousands of pounds from the waste stream.
Springside's solar project was installed by Alteris Renewables, ranked the fastest growing renewable energy company in the Northeast on the Inc. 500.
"Alteris is working with leading private schools in the Northeast, such as Springside School, a member of the Green Schools Alliance," said Ron French, president of the Solar Business Unit at Alteris Renewables. "We're extremely proud to be helping Springside further its strong environmental commitment with such a visible and important action as this solar installation."
With this solar array, Springside is taking a major step toward realizing the Green Schools Alliance's call to become carbon neutral in 10 years and to begin reducing its carbon footprint by at least 30% in the next five years. Springside School represents the advances and potential of Philadelphia's alternative energy objectives. Solar power as a source and symbol of energy generation and educational benefit is proudly displayed on the rooftop is only one of Springside's many steps in the direction of a brighter future for the next generation.
About Springside: Springside School, founded in 1879, is the oldest school for girls in Philadelphia. Today, Springside is an independent college preparatory school, enrolling 642 students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 from widely diverse social and economic backgrounds, with 27% students of color. The school's campus includes 30 acres of fields and woods adjacent to the Wissahickon watershed and Fairmount Park in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. One large modern building, with wireless technology throughout, houses the entire school including 10 science labs, five art studios, two broadcasting studios, a Physics and Engineering Lab exclusively for lower school students, a 52,000-square-foot athletic field house with a 10,000-square-foot solar array, five regulation athletic fields, and SMART™ technology in every classroom.
About Alteris Renewables: Alteris Renewables is the largest design-build renewable energy company in the Northeast, with more than 2,250 completed installations across six states. Ranked as one of the top 10 fastest growing energy companies in the Inc. 500, Alteris provides turn-key solar electric (photovoltaic or PV), solar thermal, and wind energy solutions for commercial, residential, education, government and institutional clients. The company has industry-leading expertise in engineering, design, project management, performance analysis, project financing and renewable energy credit programs.