Two high schools in West Virginia have installed solar panels for the coming school year to help generate electricity. University High School in Morgantown will use a 240-watt solar panel system that will provide approximately six kilowatts of energy to the building. Mount View High School in Welch, West Virginia has a new 5.28 kilowatt solar panel system that will serve as the primary source of electricity for the high school’s computer lab.

“The West Virginia Division of Energy (WVDOE) supports solar applications at West Virginia’s educational facilities,” said Jeff Herholdt, director of the WVDOE. “It’s a good way to teach students about diverse forms of energy.”

The new 240-watt solar panel system, installed at the University High School in Morgantown, West Virginia, will provide approximately 6 kilowatts of electricity. Credit: West Virginia Division of Energy.

The panels were installed with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to the West Virginia Division of Energy. The “Renewable Energy Applications on Surfaced-Mined Lands” project is focused on supporting biomass energy production, wind generation of electricity, and solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power applications on surfaced-mined lands in West Virginia. The high school solar panels were installed by West Virginia solar contractor, PIMBY.

Monitoring the solar panels will be added into the curriculum of high school science classes at both University and Mount View. University’s science department will monitor the solar panels’ power details to determine the solar-output and the carbon off-set of the installation.

Mount View is participating in a ground-level ozone study funded by the University of Colorado. The study researches solar power output and associated ozone levels. Findings in their science classes will also be uploaded to Google Earth for public viewing. The panels at Mount View have a designated viewing area for students, faculty and outside groups.

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