Bright Ideas Spotlight: Going Solar
The Bright Ideas grant program, administered by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, has awarded $10.2 million in support of innovative, classroom-based projects since 1994. Each year, close to 600 grants are funded across the state — this is one example from the 2016 round of funding.
School: North Wilkes Middle School, Wilkes County
Sponsoring co-op: Surry-Yadkin EMC
Project name: “Going Solar”
Participating students: 100
Teacher: Michael Holleman
Project in a nutshell: Students are analyzing the effectiveness of an on-campus Skystream 3.7 wind turbine and a 2-kW solar photovoltaic installation.
From the teacher: “I put an emphasis on my students about alternative energy resources. We use energy output data to determine which is most feasible for our area. “We utilize the tools provided by the Bright Ideas grant to help us complete this assessment. We use a pyranometer to measure the power of electromagnetic radiation in watts per square meter. We use a solar pathfinder to determine what hours of the day, month, and year, a site will be shaded. We then use companion software to provide a professional looking solar site analysis report.”