University Park, MD installs solar array for energy efficiency

The movement towards energy efficiency has a lot of possible paths to take, with several different options for greener and more sustainable forms of power. One of the more promising solutions is solar power. While this initiative has been moving slowly but surely, University Park, MD has taken a giant stride forward with the addition of a solar array to University Park Elementary School, the first public school in Prince George's County to utilize solar technology.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Town of University Park and the Prince George's County Public School System. The Wall Street Journal reports that not only will the solar panels generate clean, renewable energy for the school, it will also provide an annual revenue stream of $18,000 for both the district and the town.

"This system represents an important milestone for the Town of University Park, and we are excited to play a role in helping the town reach its sustainability goals," Scott Wiater, President of the Maryland-based Standard Solar Inc., said in an official statement. "University Park Elementary School is the first public school in Prince George's County to go solar and the system will not only provide an economic benefit, but also an educational opportunity for the students."

The energy savings will be used to initiate new activities in the district's math and science curriculum. The solar array was completely funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,500 tons over its 25-year lifespan.

Local residents don't need to take as drastic a step as solar power for their own energy efficient homes, though. Maryland home inspectors can help you improve the energy use of your house, reducing your own utility bills in the process.