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Hope schools go solar

By submitted, 03/15/22 9:11 PM

HOPE –  The Hope Public Schools (HPS) Board of Education, Entegrity Partners, and the community gathered for a “Flip the Switch” ceremony to celebrate a first for southwest Arkansas public schools: an on-site solar array. Located across from Clinton Primary School, the 1.13 MW-DC array will offset approximately 80% of the District’s annual electrical energy consumption.

“The Board and Administration saw an opportunity to reduce utility costs and use that savings to invest in their facilities, ultimately leading to a greater learning environment for students,” added John Coleman, Regional Director of Entegrity.

Solar production is part of the comprehensive energy savings project with Entegrity. The full scope of work, including LED lighting, water conservation, HVAC system upgrades, and the array, saves HPS over $200k annually.

As one of many recent advancements for HPS, this project will cultivate the District’s long-term vision of a “cradle to career” education approach. Entegrity’s sustainability experts are incorporating education components at HPS to give students exposure to solar at the 5th and 6th grade levels. For example, HPS teachers can apply solar suitcases to their curriculum: self-contained packages that allow students to safely experiment with a working solar panel to power components like fans, phone chargers, or light bulbs.

Dr. Jonathan Crossley, Hope Public Schools Superintendent, stated, “We’re innovating the public education experience to prepare students for employment and success after graduation. As the renewable energy sector continues to grow and provide cutting-edge opportunities in Arkansas, Hope students will expand their energy knowledge and see solar first-hand at their campus.”