Solar Energy Education
Camp Thunderbird YMCA
Duke Energy has teamed up with Camp Thunderbird YMCA on Lake Wylie in South Carolina, and Energy Wise Solutions, to help educate youth on environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. We have donated 16 solar panels to the camp, helping give students the opportunity to learn about solar energy.
These solar panels are installed on the roof of the campís 72-year-old recreation hall, providing approximately 3 kilowatts of solar energy for the building Ė the equivalent of about 10 percent of the electricity needed for the 5,300 square-foot facility.
Data collected during the monitoring of this project will be used to create innovative programs that teach students about solar energy production and sustainable practices. Duke Energy will also use the results to gauge project performance, and to inform future decisions regarding renewable energy for our generating system.
Join us in learning more about solar energy by following the projectís live monitoring results. Also, keep track of daily weather reports to understand how cloud cover, rain and temperature impact the results on an hourly, daily and monthly basis.
Florida Solar Energy Center
The Duke Energy Progress Energy Foundation donated $25,000 to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), which assists middle-school teachers in meeting and exceeding national and state learning standards through an understanding of solar energy.
FSEC developed an alternative energy curriculum and created "solar kits," which allow students to build their own photovoltaic power systems. The program provided training, tools and technical assistance to science, mathematics, technology and social studies teachers.
Thirty schools, 60 teachers and 7,500 students participated in the program.
The SunSense family of programs includes an initiative to install solar arrays on schools.
- In 2009, schools in the Carolinas participated in the first SunSense Schools competition. After completing projects related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, students at five schools across the service territory were awarded 2 kilowatt solar arrays, Internet monitoring equipment and accompanying educational resources.
- The Florida SunSense Schools program engages more than 1,300 customers in providing monthly contributions that fund educational support materials and the installation of PV systems at schools. We have partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) on the SunSense Schools program since 2004, and fourteen schools in our service territory have benefitted to date. As a part of the program, teachers work within their individual classrooms to conduct scientific experiments and mathematical computations based upon the PV systemís energy production. Students can also track energy production from their schoolís PV system at a special website maintained by FSEC.