Wurtland Elementary School (Wurtland, KY) recently became Kentucky’s first school to install a solar electricity system as part of the Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Wurtland Elementary School installed the system through the Learning from Light! program, a cooperative effort of American Electric Power (AEP, Columbus, OH), federal and state governments, local communities, and other partners. The system was dedicated on June 1, 2001, with a fanfare of songs and speakers discussing energy and the system’s educational value.
The system installed at Wurtland was funded by an Eisenhower grant and donations from AEP. It is a 1,000W system consisting of 20 50W panels connected and mounted on a pole. The system measures approximately 8.5' by 11' and is electrically connected to the school building and the electric grid.
“This system is an invaluable learning resource for the school and the community,” said Timothy Mosher, AEP Kentucky state president. “It’s a springboard for understanding renewable energy and energy management and usage. Students, teachers and the public can go to AEP’s Learning from Light! website to see how much solar power is contributing to a school’s electrical needs. They can determine how many solar panels, for example, it would take to keep the school running. This, in turn, helps them understand why it’s important for a school’s energy supplier, in this case AEP, to use a variety of fuels to generate electricity.”