The Jerusalem Post reports that the Boy’s Town rooftop solar panels have been generating 40 kilowatts per hour since July. Boy’s Town is a vocational yeshiva in Jerusalem for students with socioeconomic challenges. The electricity generated on the school’s rooftop is sold directly to the Israel Electric Corporation for a reduction on the school’s monthly electric bill. Suntech’s offer to sell solar panels to Israel coincides with the all the new electricity in the Israeli air; maybe similar future projects will take advantage of it.
Although long in fulfillment, the project is now generating other tangible benefits. School officials, viewing electricity production via computerized monitors, know how much the school economizes in money ( about NIS 12.000 monthly) and in carbon emissions.
Spin-off projects are already in place. At this time, the solar panels, which occupy 500 square meters of rooftop space, must be cleaned of dust by hand. A project to design a panel-cleaner robot will be given to the students of the robotics group. Likewise, a student from the post-high school applied engineering program will be given the task of designing a sun-tracking device to make best use of the sun’s energy. (To see what students in other Middle Eastern countries are thinking of by way of sustainable cities, read this post.)
More encouraging news is that 48 public schools and community centers around Jerusalem will be installing similar solar energy collectors. It’s expected that together, the institutions will generate 2.5 megawatts of electricity.
“These are things that every school in the country should be teaching their students,” says Eddie Wolf, head of public relations for Boy’s Town.
More sunny posts on solar energy from Green Prophet:
:: Boy’s Town
Image of solar panels via Boy’s Town Jerusalem