Solar integrator Baker Electric Solar and nonprofit Junior Achievement use PV installation as a solar education tool for thousands of K-12 students.
Junior Achievement (JA) of San Diego / Imperial Counties and Baker Electric Solar (BES), a full-service solar integrator specializing in green technology design / build residential and commercial solar installations, are pleased to announce how the JA solar installation is serving dual purposes -- saving the nonprofit money and educating future generations about the value of renewable energy.
The Junior Achievement photovoltaic (PV) installation achieves two of the nonprofit's goals in going solar. The first is to save money -- with over $1.1 million in savings projected over the life of the system. The second is to use the system as a solar educational tool for the more than 13,000 students, plus thousands of teachers, parents and visitors who visit JA's San Diego location annually. In addition to the financial savings and education aspects, JA exemplifies a responsible corporate citizen by going green.
The JA 90.72 kilowatt (kW) system features 378 Sharp® 240 watt ground-mounted solar modules and nine SMA Sunny Boy inverters. The solar installation will provide over 70 percent of the annual electricity for the 23,000 square foot facility. The project was self-funded, and BES helped the organization recover nearly one-third of the cost with the California Solar Initiative rebate program.
Junior Achievement educates K-12 students about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy. The organization uses experiential, hands-on programs to help students understand and master the knowledge and skills they'll need as adults.
As a solar education tool, BES added a kiosk in the lobby of JA BizTown. The kiosk features an electricity output monitoring display. Students see the impact of the equipment converting the sun's rays into electricity. The McGrath Family JA BizTown™ in San Diego's Mission Gorge neighborhood is a 10,000 square foot mini-city in which kids discover how free enterprise really works. Students experientially run 21 businesses such as NBC San Diego, Kaiser, Mission Federal Credit Union, US Bank, SeaWorld and more.
"Our first bill was zero for electricity. As a nonprofit, we really like that! And, with our monitoring display we are using the solar system as an education tool for the kids. It shows them how the sun is creating the power for JA BizTown and our entire building," said JA President and CEO, Joanne Pastula.
During the PV installation time frame, as BES production crews were working outside, BES employees served as JA classroom volunteers in Escondido schools. General Manager, Brian Miliate taught the Junior Achievement "Success Skills" program to approximately 25 juniors and seniors at Orange Glen High School over seven weeks. Marketing Coordinator, Ashley Arant covered the "Our Community" program for 20 Rose Elementary second graders over five weeks. An additional 14 BES team members also served as volunteer teachers. More than 94 Baker Electric Solar volunteer hours were logged for JA education. All solar staff made it a point to share their industry knowledge with their students.
"The children are our future. With the JA solar project, our Baker team is proud to play a role in inspiring and preparing young people to embrace and promote solar renewable energy. Thousands of students will see solar in action when they visit Junior Achievement," said BES President Ted Baker. "They will take this hands-on knowledge back to their families, as well as use it for themselves in the future."
For more information on Baker Electric Solar, call (877) 543-8765 or visit http://www.bakerelectricsolar.com.
About Baker Electric Solar
Escondido-based NB Baker Electric, Inc., dba Baker Electric Solar, designs, builds and installs photovoltaic solar power systems for new and existing homes and commercial facilities across Southern California. Baker Electric Solar recently received a 2012 Project of Distinction Award at PV America West from SEIA and SEPA. For more information on solar energy solutions, visit http://www.bakerelectricsolar.com.
About Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties
Junior Achievement is a worldwide nonprofit organization that empowers young people to own their economic success. Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties is working locally to reach 46,000 students in K-12 classrooms for the 2011-2012 school year, which takes 5,500 volunteers who will lead classes and experiential programs. For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, visit http://www.jasandiego.org.