Hunting Hills prepares solar project

Solar panels will soon harness the power of the sun at Hunting Hills High School.

Solar panels will soon harness the power of the sun at Hunting Hills High School.

The school’s Enviro Club students raised $20,000 for solar panels to be installed on the south side of the high school roof.

The solar panels are expected to be installed next fall.

Science teacher Nancy Vanderwater said the club is in the process of putting the project out to tender but they haven’t stopped fundraising.

“We’re going to go ahead,” said Vanderwater. “We raised the $20,000 even if that is all we raised we’re going to go ahead this year and put as many solar panels on the roof as the $20,000 allows.”

Vanderwater said the Lacombe Composite High School’s environment club raised about $35,000 for its solar panels, which produce just under seven kilowatt hours of electricity. Vanderwater said they would like to raise $40,000 and add more panels if need be in the ensuing years.

“Last year we tried to reduce energy consumption at our school,” said Vanderwater. “We did an energy audit where we learned the school and the school board could save a lot of money.”

The club of 20 students, in Grades 10 to 12, implemented a plan to reduce energy consumption, which included turning off television monitors that were on during school announcements and computers when they are not in use.

Vanderwater said students wanted to go a step further and use alternative energy that would be more earth friendly when they came up with the solar panel project.

Students from Lacombe environment club also helped to motivate the Hunting Hills students.

Over the last year, the students have talked to local businesses and organizations about the project. They have raised money through bottle drives, selling school travel mugs and soliciting sponsorships.