Thurgood Marshall Academy
- System Specs | 2.8 kW | 16 panels | 1 3kW inverter | Ballasted roof mount | Monitored, viewable via the Internet
- System Production | 3.5 MWh per year
- Environmental Benefits | Greenhouse gas emissions from an average car driven 5,895 miles | Carbon emissions produced by burning 2,625 pounds of coal | Carbon sequestered by 63.7 tree seedlings grown for 10 years
Seven Years of Saving Money With Solar At Thurgood Marshall Academy
Named after the first black Supreme Court Justice and lawyer who won the historic Brown v Board of Education lawsuit, Thurgood Marshall Academy focuses its time creating critical thinkers capable of solving complex problems and advocates on behalf of themselves and their communities.
In 2009, when the school’s Green Club realized they could make a contribution to the environment and be on the cutting edge of energy production with the installation of a 2.8 kW solar array on the school’s roof, they immediately sought permission from the administration to pursue the opportunity.
After the Green Club received the go-ahead, they looked to raise funds. Thanks to a generous donation from the Earth Day Network and a grant from the District of Columbia Energy Office, the students and teachers at Thurgood Marshall turned to Standard Solar, a local solar installer with extensive experience in school projects and the expertise to handle the project from beginning to end, to do the installation of the 2.8 kW system.
The 16 175-watt panel system on the roof of Thurgood Marshall that Standard Solar installed in 2009 is going as strongly today as it did seven years ago. Combined with a single 3 kW inverter and a ballasted roof-mount with a 10-degree tilt, the array has already saved the school nearly $10,000, as well as producing 24 solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) to date. The sale of SRECs provides an additional revenue stream that the school has used to offset the investment in the array.
But the most interesting part of the installation was the array’s monitoring system which, by being available for use in the classroom as a teaching tool, helped seven-years-worth of students more knowledgeable about solar and its importance to the future of our world.
The Green Club counts the solar array as one of its greatest victories in the fight for the environment. The school encourages its students and staff to meet its goals for sustainability through local gardening, energy and water reduction, and on-site energy production. The system removes the greenhouse gas emissions from an average car driven 5,895 miles, the carbon emissions produced by burning 2,625 pounds of coal and the carbon sequestered by 63.7 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.