We are excited to announce the successful completion of the Community Solar for Our Schools Program!

All of the solar array installations are now up and generating power for Orcas, San Juan, Lopez and Shaw Islands’ schools. Educators from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) have conducted Solar Education Training for Champion Teachers from all the islands schools and many teachers have already started incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy programs into their classrooms.

We are so fortunate to have such tremendous community support to get solar power and renewable energy education to our island students. A big THANKS to YOU, our contributors and supporters; Orcas, San Juan, Lopez and Shaw Islands’ school districts; solar installers Rainshadow Solar & Whidbey Sun & WindBonneville Environmental Foundation’s Solar 4R Schools Program,OPALCO and Islands Energy. Let’s celebrate our collective effort towards a clean energy future!

The BEF Solar 4R Schools program conducted trainings for 17 San Juan, Lopez & Shaw Island Champion Teachers at the Friday Harbor Middle School on Sept. 30, 2015. The training took teachers through lessons they can use on energy principles, renewable energy and a series of fun, hands-on activities using materials provided in the Solar Energy Kits that each School District received. Teacher Champions at the Orcas Island School District received similar training and materials this past April. Find out more information on the Bonneville Environmental Foundation Solar 4R Schools Program website.


How the Photovoltaic (PV) System Works!
When sunlight shines on PV modules, they produce direct current (DC) power. The DC power from the PV modules goes to an inverter, which changes the power to alternating current (AC) compatible with OPALCO grid power. The solar energy produced is connected to an electrical system through a circuit breaker in an electrical panel. On-site power demands are first met by solar power from the connected PV system, then by OPALCO grid power if there is not enough PV power being produced to meet the demand. When the PV system is producing more power then is being used, the excess power is automatically sent to the OPALCO grid and the school is credited.


© San Juan Islands Conservation District 2016