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

Comparing Homes – Energy-Saving Enters the Equation posted on Aug 28

Comparing Homes – Energy-Saving Enters the Equation

Until recently, there was no way to easily figure energy efficiency into a home buying decision. Enter HomeMPG, a Massachusetts energy-saving initiative to pilot an energy performance score (EPS) in residential homes. This “asset” rating that’s analogous to a car’s MPG rating. Behavior is taken out of the equation so that any home’s energy use can be compared to any other home, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison.

Massachusetts Milestone: 15,000 Solar Installations posted on Aug 25

Massachusetts Milestone: 15,000 Solar Installations

Massachusetts has just surpassed an exciting milestone of 15,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, proving that solar energy has become a smart, popular choice here. In fact, as of August 21, there were 15,762 systems installed across Massachusetts, a twenty-fold increase from 2007 when Governor Deval   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Milestone: 15,000 Solar Installations

Solarize Mass – Big Scale Impact for Small Scale Solar posted on Aug 20

Solarize Mass – Big Scale Impact for Small Scale Solar

The results of the Solarize Mass 2013-2014 two rounds managed to surpass numbers from the previous two years. Close to 1,500 contracts were signed and a total of nearly 10 megawatts of solar installed. During 2013’s first round, ten communities participated, and for the second round that ended this past June, another fifteen communities were chosen.