ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The unrelenting sun hasn't really been our friend this summer as it regularly pushed the temperature near 100º. But an Albany school is capturing the sun's energy and using the sun to teach kids some important lessons about science and the environment.
Sherwood Christian Academy isn't letting all of that good solar energy go to waste. A big solar energy panel has been capturing some of the sun's rays since 2008.
While it won't exactly light up the school, they're getting plenty of use from it in other ways.
"It generates enough electricity to maybe light a lamp for a few hours. It's mainly used for educational purposes, science classrooms. Students can go on a website and see how much power, what time of the day," said Sherwood Christian Academy Principal Luke Bowers.
And when it comes to panels like these, Sherwood is not alone. The solar panel at Sherwood Christian Academy is one of more than 20 around the state, and it's part of an effort from one company to generate more of its electricity from renewable sources.
The solar panel at Sherwood was installed by Mitchell Electrical Membership Corporation. It's part of a program called Sun Power for Schools.
"An initiative that the EMC's of Georgia have promoted to try to get solar panels mounted at different schools across the state," said Evera Moye of Mitchell EMC.
While green power is the new fad these days, EMCs statewide have been doing it for a while. "We formed the first green power company in the state and we produce more than anybody else," Moye said.
Solar power may never be the only means of getting power to Mitchell EMCs customers. "We can't abandon traditional methods of generation, just because we can't generate enough from the renewables."
But it can be a part of the solution, along with something that we can all do. "The biggest thing consumers can do is conservation."
For Sherwood, having the solar panel goes a little way towards fulfilling its overall mission. "This is one way, again, that we can make discoveries about the Creator. The purpose of the sun, the power of the sun. And... from what we learn about that... take care of the environment," said Bowers.
And will hopefully inspire these students to take steps to protect the fragile environment in the future.
Twin Oaks Elementary School in Leesburg and Irwin County High School in Ocilla also have solar panels. Mitchell EMC says there are plans to add more in the coming years.