TROUT RIVER — A 60-year-old school has received a 21st century upgrade that will keep kids warm and help save energy.
Jakeman All Grade School received two solar panels last week through the province’s Save it Forward program. Introduced in 2010, the program encourages students to submit ideas to the provincial government that promote energy efficiency and conservation.
The solar panels, which were made in Newfoundland by Cansolair Inc. of Spaniards Bay, are actually made in part from discarded pop cans and cost about $3,300 per unit.
The school submitted its proposal at the start of the Save it Forward program and received almost $10,000 over the last two years for the panels, as well as a power-generating bike and digital thermostats the school received last year.
Teachers say the students, who have been learning about the environment and conservation, are very happy and are looking forward to finding out if the panels will keep them warm if this winter gets as cold as previous Trout River winters.
“Some of the students were out watching as they installed the panels, they’re very excited about it,” said teacher Kelly Pevie, who initially filed the paperwork for the school to take part in the grant. “They’re very excited about it.”
Pevie said she has a similar solar panel on her home, all jokes aside about typical Newfoundland weather, she said the panels work on cloudy days.
As far as savings to the school’s utility budget, Pevie said they have a spreadsheet with past electricity bills and will be comparing the cost over the next 12 months to see how much they save.
The system uses some electricity with its circulation system including electric blowers. She said the school is the first such facility in the province to have these types of solar panels installed by the Newfoundland company.