SolarWorld joins campaign to rebuild flood-damaged Vernonia, Ore., school
60 kilowatts of SolarWorld solar panels will help power rebuilt school
HILLSBORO, Ore., October 6, 2011 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. manufacturer of solar technology, today announced it has joined a campaign to rebuild a K-12 school in Vernonia, Ore., that flooding destroyed in 2007. SolarWorld will provide more than 60 kilowatts of reduced-price and donated solar panels to the rebuilding effort that aims to meet LEED platinum standards. In addition to supplying clean, renewable solar power to the school, the solar system will serve as a hands-on tool for educating students about how solar technology works.
Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., said a new Vernonia school is critical to the viability of the rugged logging community in Oregon’s coastal range. “Vernonia’s schools have been the linchpin of this special town,” Brinser said. “There was never a question in my mind that SolarWorld needed to play a pivotal role in helping to build a future-oriented, sustainable school for the community.”
Upon opening to students in the fall of 2012, the K-12 school is expected to be the first nationwide to boast LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification. SolarWorld’s polycrystalline silicon solar panels, sold at sharp discount, are expected to produce over 65,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year. SolarWorld also will donate $20,000 worth of technology for a separate solar installation, such as a covered picnic and play area at the “Tot Lot” park in front of the school.
Kenneth Cox, superintendent of the Vernonia School District, said the donation will provide a “visible and multi-functional tool for the school and visitors to learn about solar technology.” He said the school’s teachers are enthusiastic about using the solar installation as a way to bring alternative energy education to the school’s 600 students and its community.
SolarWorld also brings its relationship with the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to the Vernonia project. FEE is a non-profit organization that has led solar installations on hundreds of schools nationwide, while NEED has developed and delivered curriculum centered on energy use, energy efficiency and new energy technologies for more than 30 years. Together these organizations will help Vernonia’s science teachers create a curriculum that brings the topic of solar energy alive for students of every grade level.
About SolarWorld AG
SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, Ore. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com
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