Pembroke Hill dedicated new solar panels during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the roof of the Intermediate Building on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The set of panels on that building is fourth 25-kilowatt system that has been installed at the school, bringing the total estimated production to 138,802 kilowatt hours per year.
City Councilwoman Jan Marcason, City Councilman Jim Glover, City of Kansas City, Mo., Chief Environmental Officer Dennis Murphey and Susan Brown, principal of Brightergy Solar, spoke at the event. Other guests included Roland Maliwat, KCP&L manager of sustainability products and MARC solar panel coordinator Beth Dawson.
Click here to view a video of the ceremony.
The solar panel system is estimated to reduce emissions by 2,722 tons of CO2 over 25 years -- the equivalent of cars driving 8,858,234 miles or 46.6 acres of trees planted. The other sets of panels are on the Deramus Field House on the Wornall campus and on the Upper School and Hall Student Center on the Ward Parkway campus.
“Pembroke Hill is committed to being an innovator in education and the environment, implementing sustainability programs and teaching these concepts to students, beginning at a young age,” said Steve Bellis, head of school.
The solar systems were designed and installed by Brightergy Solar, a Kansas City-based solar solutions company. The solar panels are estimated to reduce energy costs by 10 percent a year.
Pembroke Hill is undertaking several “green” initiatives. “These solar panels are just one example of the school’s commitment to the environment and the community,” Steve said.
Other sustainability initiatives that PHS has implemented include:
• Participating in KCP&L’s energy curtailment program;
• Using green cleaning products and an automatic floor machine that applies only water to clean floors and by electronic conversion, changes the pH to an alkaline state;
• Recycling everything from paper, cardboard, aluminum cans and plastic bottles, to motor oil, batteries and obsolete IT equipment. Annually, our paper recycling program collects 110 cubic yards.
• With support from the Parents Association, this year installed seven water filling stations on both campuses that in the last two months have refilled nearly 3,500 bottles of water, thus saving those bottles from being discarded.
• Retrofitting lighting in three gyms on two campuses to reduce energy and increase illumination at an energy savings of 41,000 kilowatts.
“These environmentally-friendly projects not only benefit Pembroke Hill, but also our community, and we are pleased to be leading the way for such initiatives among schools in our city,” Steve said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Following the dedication ceremony, the attendees enjoyed a reception in the Dickey Library during which fifth grade students discussed their recycling program and solar cars they built during their science class.