Arizona school pioneers a contemporary eco-education
Five wind turbines help students learn about renewable energy and increase the school’s visibility.
The turbines are a landmark. You can see them from the freeway—they’re cool looking and sexy. It’s a constant reminder to the potential of renewables.
-Daniel Snyder, Westwind Solar Electric
The Vail Academy and High School (VAHS) is a Tucson-based K-12 progressive, forward-thinking school, which was awarded a LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Provide an eco-friendly education
- Expose students to hands-on real-time education
- Engage communities in a wind energy discussion
- Teacher training with hands-on curricula
- Interactive and inter school wind-related research tasks
- Average annual wind speed: 4.0 m/s (9 mph)*
- Average solar insolation: 6.5 kWh/m2/day*
- Location: 32.092764,-110.809609
- Install date: July 2010
- Five Skystream 3.7 turbines on 14 m (45 ft) monopole towers that double as parking lot light poles
- 11 10-kW rooftop solar PV arrays
- Turbines provide clean, ready-to-use AC power (no external inverter or controller required)
- “Behind the meter” connection reduces VAHS’ utility costs
- Project cost: $85,000
- Tucson Electric Power (TEP), local utility incentive: $27,000
- Brings energy technologies to students, giving them a platform to launch green-energy careers
- Further instills VAHS’ LEED Gold certification and green education objectives
- Projected to offset 2 percent of the school’s electricity
- Westwind Solar Electric Inc.
- Lloyd Construction
- Wind Powering America
- Tucson Electric Power (TEP)
* U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory