Erle Nye, TXU Chairman Emeritus and Lakehill Advisory Board Member, Alice Nye, Patti Brooks, Lakehill Headmaster Roger L. Perry

Community Contribution

Solar energy is quickly becoming the energy for the future at Lakehill Preparatory School.

The school yesterday dedicated a new a solar panel array donated by TXU Energy, through its TXU Energy Solar Academy program, and installed by Solar City.

The installation at the Alice and Erle Nye Family Environmental Science Center provides an opportunity for students to study solar-power generation and monitor power consumption. The 1kW solar array is web-enabled so the students can see how much solar energy is being generated on an hour-by-hour basis.

The opportunity for research is limitless and students will be prepared to meet the world with their knowledge of solar energy. The curriculum provided reaches students in kindergarten through high school.

The array is expected to provide up to 2,200 kW per year, or about 5-10 percent of the center’s daily power use, according to facilities manager Mark Kidder. While this might not seem like a tremendous amount of energy, it does provide an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the energy of the future and to prepare students for future studies, possibly careers in the energy industry.

The solar array has not only given Lakehill students hands-on experience; it has given them real-life application, allowing them to see how real energy is used. The program has built a bridge between Lakehill’s two campuses, allowing administrators to consider an all-solar campus in the  future. Students can see the information on a computer from a classroom at the main campus on one day and on another day they can actually stand under the solar panel and visualize how the sun hits the panel.

Through this program, students have been able to step out of the classroom and into the field.

Thanks to Gigi Ekstrom, Lakehill’s marketing and community relations director, for providing the words and picture.

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