Bucks County Herald

Delaware Valley High School dedicates solar field



Delaware Valley Regional High School students Rachel Orrico, foreground, and Sarah Wardach autograph an extra solar panel while Ryan Stephens waits his turn. The panel-signing was part of the dedication ceremony on Friday, Sept. 8, for the new solar array on campus.

A new 1 megawatt solar array was dedicated on Friday, Sept. 8 at Delaware Valley Regional High School.

Because of its economic and environmental benefits, “I’m dedicating this project to the students of Delaware Valley Regional High School,” said School Business Administrator Teresa Barna.

The brief ceremony, which was attended by about 100 people, including about 80 students and Freeholder Rob Walton, took place just outside the gate that secures the solar field. The event included a chance for students and staff to autograph an extra solar panel.

The solar field was designed by Advanced Solar Products, which also supervised the construction. The panels are on a far corner of the 127-acre campus beside the lacrosse fields. The work began in the winter and began producing electricity in June. Now the array belongs to IGS Solar, which paid for the project.

IGS will maintain the solar field and sell the electricity to Del Val for about half what JCP&L is charging.

The array of 3,186 solar panels is engineered to meet 80 percent of the school’s electricity needs. Savings the first full year are expected to exceed $66,000.

Superintendent Daria Wasserbach opened the ceremony and praised Barna for her instrumental role in making the power-generating field a reality.

Barna said, “We are proud to announce that our solar array will reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 204 vehicles off the road for one year.”

She urged students and colleagues to “create a new culture of sustainability at Del Val, where all that we do contributes to reducing our carbon footprint. There is so much more that we can do. Recycling, waste control, energy conservation, all require a change in thought and behavior for success. Perhaps the Environmental Club or the School Spirit Club would be willing to partner with me to foster positive change.”

She also noted that the savings on electricity will “allow more funds to be directed to our educational program.”

She thanked Wasserbach and the school board “for their vision and support of the project,” and enumerated the other people and organizations involved in the project’s planning and implementation.

Finally, she produced a handful of bright markers and invited all present to sign the solar panel.

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