Solar at STEAM

Posted on April 12, 2019
Category: Solar
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Help A2 STEAM build a 60-Panel Solar Array on our School by Fall 2019
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We are a team of students from A2 STEAM, a K-8 school in Ann Arbor, MI, USA, that wants to make our school more Eco-Friendly, have sustainable energy, and not emit as much carbon into the atmosphere.

Solar at STEAM

We’ve done our research and found that we can accomplish this goal by building a 60-panel solar array on the roof of our school by the end of summer 2019. But we can’t do it alone – we need your help!

This project started with a few students from 2016/2017 school year when we learned about how carbon emissions were harming all of us. We had to do something, so we got busy. We wrote proposals, did research, and realized that A2 STEAM could generate a lot of electricity from the sun while using less energy from fossil fuels.

Next, we formed a big team that meets as a club.

Can you donate today to help us meet our goal?

We Made Solar Cells

SOME OF OUR RESEARCH

Why should A2 STEAM have solar panels? How are they useful?

  • Solar panels would reduce carbon emissions and save fossil fuels, therefore making us less dependent on fossil fuels.
  • With long term savings, the district would be able to spend less money on STEAM’s energy. This would allow us to invest the money in something like supplies, projects, field trips, etc.
  • Anytime STEAM generates more energy than they need, it goes into the grid, mitigating fossil fuel consumption in our community!

What do the numbers show?

With conservation efforts to reduce consumption, we could produce about 5% of our energy use with solar power.

Energy Saved Spreadsheet

Estimated Savings

We calculated our estimated savings.

  • Our school pays about $3,751 per month on energy bills.
  • 10% of that is $375.1 per month in reduced bills on average.
  • This means that over a year we would save about $4,501.2.

This does not take into account any money we would get for times when overflow goes to the grid and DTE pays us.

Average Monthly UseThis is why this pilot is so valuable for the district!
How long will it take for the array to pay for itself?
What are the costs and benefits to solar schools?

100 Solar Panels

We would have a large amount of electricity being generated by our array. If we add 100 solar panels we can reduce an estimated 18.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year! That is the equivalent of 471 tree saplings planted each year.

All our schools can mitigate carbon emissions

Temperature RiseThis graph shows the rise in temperature because of climate change.

Atmospheric CarbonThis graph shows the rise in atmospheric carbon from burning fossil fuels that is causing the global temperatures seen in the above graph to rise.

How will this impact other schools?

Hopefully, when other schools notice what STEAM has done, they will follow suit. Our full goal is to turn the whole district net zero, by installing solar panels on each roof of schools and doing other things to help mitigate climate change.

In Front of Energy Commission

Educational Advantages of Going Solar

  • We can track our production and our energy consumption.
  • We will better understand the flow of energy in our electrical use.
  • We can see how our energy production mitigates carbon by graphing our carbon offsetting from our production.
  • We can learn to make small changes for big impact to mitigate climate change and adapt to the new realities it will bring.
  • We can track temperatures in the classrooms before and after installation to see if there is a classroom cooling benefit from the change in roof surface.

SASP Plan to Complete Our Array

  1. Raise the money: Community contributions, grants, sponsorships, fundraisers and crowdsourcing.
  2. Work with the School District, City of Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, and DTE to select a contractor quote to work with and have our array professionally installed.
  3. Monitor our production, work on conservation, and share our story.
  4. We are also receiving mentoring from someone in My Solar Schools.

Grants Received

Grants We Have Received

  • $700 from Book Bound
  • $700 from The Little Seedling
  • $700 from GM/National Wildlife Federation
  • Remaining funds from community members via PayPal and GoFundMe

Mayor Came to Visit

Help Us Raise Funds!

We have $10,000. We need to raise $20,000 more to start our array. We will expand our array every year until we reach or exceed our goal of 20KW!

PLEASE GIVE NOW and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!

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