New Solar Farm Supports High School Energy Academy

United Power and Silicon Ranch recently dedicated a new solar farm in the northern Colorado town of Mead just a few miles from Mead High School, home to the Mead Energy Academy. The Academy is a unique and innovative program that offers a secondary public education concentrated on the principles of energy, while students earn their high school diploma. The 75,960 panel solar farm is named “Mavericks Solar Farm,” after the high school’s mascot.

The Mead Energy Academy, sponsored in part by United Power, NEED and Silicon Ranch, prepares students for college studies, technical education, certification programs and the workforce and courses include bioengineering, technologies, conservation and sustainability, fossil fuels, hydropower and fuel cells, solar and wind power.

United Power hopes the solar farm will expand its “green” footprint and will create educational opportunities for students to learn more about the role solar energy plays in a diversified energy mix.

Mavericks Solar Farm will supply over 61 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually while serving over 1250 homes.


Electric Co-op Brings Solar to High Schools

Solar Energy International’s Solar in the Schools program secured funding recently when Montrose-based Delta-Montrose Electric Association committed $150,000 to the program, contributing the money from the co-op’s unclaimed capital credit fund to support the installation of solar electric systems at five high schools within its territory.

As a member-owned cooperative, DMEA returns excess revenue back to its members in the form of capital credits. In some cases, DMEA is unable to locate members who have moved away from the service territory or passed away. After five and a half years, capital credits that remain unclaimed are transferred to a fund for charitable and educational purposes.

SEI’s Solar in the Schools program works in local schools to provide science, technology, engineering and math or STEM training while focusing on renewable energy. SEI provides technical assistance in the design and installation of the 10 kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems at Delta High School, Hotchkiss High School, Cedaredge High School, Olathe High School and Montrose High School.

Through the program, students will be involved in various steps of the project, including determining the best site, design and construction of the system. The sites will most likely begin after school is back in session for the 2017-2018 school year.