St. Nicholas Catholic School goes solar

Courtesy of SilRay
St. Nicholas School recently added 105 SilRay solar panels to its roof to help reduce energy costs and spread environmental awareness to students.

Los Altos-based SilRay recently completed a solar installation project at St. Nicholas Catholic School.

The new panels installed by the solar energy business will enable St. Nicholas to reduce electricity costs by an estimated $6,600 per year, shrink its carbon footprint and expose students to environmental preservation and scientific and technological advancements.

To mark the school’s transition to solar energy, St. Nicholas held a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 19 during its morning assembly. Speakers at the event included Los Altos Hills Mayor John Harpootlian; the Rev. John Poncini, pastor of St. William and St. Nicholas parishes; St. Nicholas Principal Matt Komar; and SilRay CEO April Zhong.

Speakers emphasized for the 240 students in attendance the importance of protecting the environment and how renewable energy technologies such as solar contribute to that goal.

“The energy cost savings from this system will make more funds available for students, teachers and educational programs at the school,” said Zhong, whose child attends St. Nicholas. “My hope for the students is that they will become solar ambassadors who will advocate for renewable energy in the community, setting an example for environmental stewardship.”

SilRay donated 105 polysilicon solar panels to St. Nicholas, which are expected to produce more than 37,210 kWh of electricity per year. The installation could prevent 36 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

The solar project has increased students’ desire to learn more about renewable energy. After the ceremony, SilRay’s staff was invited to instruct a series of classes on solar energy for sixth-graders.

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