Post Content


Dan Burgess Dan Burgess

Clean Energy Fellow, Department of Energy Resources

View Dan's Complete Bio

BC_High_7.6.11_11 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is having a lasting and positive impact on education institutions and young people all across Massachusetts.  Less than a year ago, Boston College High School unveiled an 870-panel solar photovoltaic (PV) installation on a reflective white roof. By utilizing a $162,435 Commonwealth Solar Stimulus rebate administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and engaging in a power purchase agreement with Borrego Solar, the school was able to make its solar plans a reality. This 197 kW system will produce 40 percent of the electricity needed for the campus, saving the high school more than $500,000 over the next two decades and drastically reducing the school’s carbon footprint.

The solar panels are also being used as a visual teaching tool for students. Brian Maher, executive director of capital planning and technology at the high school, recently told me “the solar panels are being used to teach students firsthand about the importance of sustainability and renewable energy.” He explained that, as a part of the curriculum, students tour the solar PV system and then track the power being generated in real-time through an online monitoring system.

BC_High_7.6.11_37 
The monitoring system displays electricity generation in easy-to-understand numbers and equivalents. As of this writing, the system has generated over 205,000 kWh of clean, homegrown electricity – equal to the electricity needed to operate a television for over 1.4 million hours or to power 1,580 computers for a full year. This past July was Boston College High School’s highest month of electricity generation yet.

“The panels are just fantastic,” Maher said. “The system is really hitting its stride this summer and is definitely exceeding our expectations. We can’t wait to show the students the progress when the school year starts again.”

Here’s where to find more information on the Recovery Act and other similar projects in Massachusetts:

Energy Recovery Dollars at Work

Massachusetts Recovery Office

Renewable Energy in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Written By:

Recent Posts

Advancing Zero Net Energy Buildings posted on Aug 13

Advancing Zero Net Energy Buildings

When I started an internship this summer with the Leading by Example program at the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), I knew that I would be working on projects related to energy efficient and sustainable buildings.   While I was familiar with LEED certification, I didn’t   …Continue Reading Advancing Zero Net Energy Buildings

Women Shaping the Agenda in Energy and the Environment posted on Jul 28

Women Shaping the Agenda in Energy and the Environment

I joined the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as an intern in the Renewable Energy Division at the start of the summer. As a recent graduate, one of my main internship goals has been not only to learn about the energy industry and policy, but   …Continue Reading Women Shaping the Agenda in Energy and the Environment

Getting Started and Gaining Insight into Energy Storage posted on Jul 14

Getting Started and Gaining Insight into Energy Storage

I joined the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) team a few months ago and, as you might imagine, have been introduced to a mountain of new information. Before I joined DOER, I had a very general understanding of what the department actually did for the   …Continue Reading Getting Started and Gaining Insight into Energy Storage