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It's always sunny in Bamberg

May 05, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Green Power

Santee Cooper’s newest Solar School was dedicated April 29 in Bamberg, one of 28 Solar Schools in the state.

It’s always fun to see children get excited about learning. It’s even more fun to see them get excited when learning about energy. That’s exactly what happened Friday when Santee Cooper joined Bamberg Board of Public Works and Bamberg School District 1 in the dedication of Richard Carroll Elementary at our newest Solar School.

The school has been equipped with a solar cell array that is already producing electricity from the sun’s rays, providing students with a firsthand look at the opportunities and challenges of solar power. Students, educators and Bamberg public works employees gathered under sunny skies to support the program and dedicate the 2-kw solar array. Richard Carroll Elementary Solar School is the 28th Solar School in South Carolina.

The Solar Schools initiative was designed to encourage interest in the environment and demonstrate the feasibility and limitations of renewable power generation. Each Solar School uses a renewable energy curriculum designed especially for the program that meets state science standards. And each school program is supplemented by an Internet-based monitoring system that provides real-time access to information on the system’s performance as well as other solar schools in South Carolina. This is extremely valuable and useful information for students.

Personally, I love how Will Martin, manager of the Bamberg Board of Public Works, describes it: “This solar school dedication is important to the Bamberg Board of Public Works because it represents the intersection of science fiction and science fact.” It’s true. We’ve all read a lot of facts and a lot of fiction surrounding solar energy, and this solar array will help children wade through both solid information and varied misconceptions by providing them with firsthand experience with solar.

Solar Schools also help fulfill Santee Cooper’s commitment to reinvest Green Power funds back into renewable resources across South Carolina. And we believe the program will cement students’ interest in solar energy. And that’s good for all of us.