Solar Project Designed As Teaching Tool
06/23/10 7:04AM By Nina Keck  Download MP3
(Host) Central Vermont Public Service has unveiled a new solar project in Rutland.
As VPR's Nina Keck reports, it's part energy producer, part exhibit and part teaching tool.
(Keck) It's hard to miss the large, reflective solar panels lined up just off Route 7. CVPS President Bob Young says the project can potentially generate up to 50 kilowatts of electricity. But he says in this instance, power is not their priority.
(Young) "For us it's more of an opportunity to learn about solar's capability in the kind of climate we have in Vermont and it will help us to determine whether we do more and larger solar projects around the state in the future."
(Keck) Over 40 high school students from nearby Stafford Technical Center were involved in clearing the land, designing and installing the project. Stafford Director Lyle Jepson says students have had a unique opportunity to see from the ground up what the renewal energy movement is all about.
(Jepson) "And they can from the classroom monitor how much power what this whole array is generating - and these students will have the opportunity we hope to go on and get further training and stay right here in Vermont - stay right here local and do these types of projects again."
(Keck) To help educate the public, CVPS installed six museum style educational displays at the site. With a hydro generator across the street and plans to install a wind turbine in the future - CVPS's Bob Young says the facility is a great place for the public to see alternative energy up close.
For VPR news, I'm Nina Keck in Rutland.