Knox County High School Takes First Step to a Green Community
By Jaiden Linebaugh
On Wednesday, September 25, Lewis County REC connected brand new solar panels on the front lawn of the Knox County School District. The solar panels were the result of a project completed by students in two high school classes.
This project first began two years ago when Industrial Technology teacher, Rich Green, introduced the idea to Knox County Superintendent, Andy Turgeon, after previously installing solar panels on a home himself. After researching and talking with different suppliers, the school district installed the solar panels. Thanks to the help of the Knox County Technology Department, Green can receive live data on each of the solar panels on his computer as well as student iPads. This data consists of how much energy each solar panel creates throughout the day and how much CO2 has been saved from the air, as well as how much energy is saved each month.
Green and Turgeon thought that the installation of solar panels would be a great way to help offset the cost of energy use by the school while teaching the Industrial Technology and Electrical classes more about them.
“The installation demonstrates to the students all the things that go into it if they want to go solar themselves,” said Green. He also mentioned that if the students wish to become more involved with solar energy, they can work with one of the many contractors around the area to gain more experience with solar panels and possibly start their own business in the future.
“The solar panels help provide us with more education about them while we are in high school, especially if you want to use them later in life,” said junior electrical student, Landon Hubble. Hubble explained that the installation process took about a week.
Green hopes to continue installing solar panels for the school to help offset the costs of the athletic fields, to create opportunities of getting more students involved with them and to help raise awareness for the community and surrounding areas as well.
“It’s not the future, it’s the here and now,” said Green. “We are just kind of catching up to it.”