NRDC: "Ultimate goal is help every school that wants solar power to get it"; Opening up fundraisingprocess to the public: Backers can "vote" for local school to be in pilot.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --In a first-of-its kind melding of education,energy and environmentalism, the Natural Resources Defense Council has launched acrowdfunding campaign to support a new initiative to help schools purchase and install rooftop solar systems that can provide clean, renewable energy.The crowdfunding campaign – a first for NRDC – initially seeks to raise $54,000 through thecrowdfunding site Indiegogo to help three to five to-be-determined schools move forward with solar rooftop projects. At least one of the locations will be selected by contributors to the campaign, whocan vote on the city of their choice.
For a straight-from-students video about NRDC's "Solar Schools: Powering Classrooms,Empowering Communities" campaign – and to contribute – see here:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-schools-powering-classrooms-empowering-communities As part of the campaign, NRDC also is developing an online platform that local schools can use tonavigate the sometimes confusing pathway to obtain solar power. The site will detail state and localrules regarding solar power installations across America, and connect schools and communities withorganizations and experts that can support them each step of the way.
"Our ultimate goal is help every school that wants solar power to get it,"
said NRDC renewableenergy policy director Nathanael Greene.
"If we can hold fundraisers for field trips and sports teams, we can do the same to get our schools on solar. Switching to clean, renewable solar energy helps the environment and thehealth of our local communities, but also helps schools to cut energy expenses and funnelthe savings to other programs,"
he said.The benefits to local schools and students can be substantial. In California, for instance, theFirebaugh-Las Deltas United School District was able to reinstate a music program for 2,300students after installing solar on its schools, thanks to an estimated $900,000 in energy cost savings.Students also get a first-hand look at how solar energy works, and a real life lesson on why science,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is important.
"Numerous organizations and programs – mainly through utilities – are putting solar panelson schools,"
said Jay Orfield, environmental innovation fellow in NRDC's Center for MarketInnovation.
"What's different about our program is that it aims to make solar an option for any school,
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