Helena’s new Bryant Elementary School building will receive a solar-power system, thanks to two grants.
Helena Public Schools announced Monday that they received $50,000 from NorthWestern Energy’s Efficiency Plus Renewable Energy program and about $9,300 from the Montana Solar Community project.
Once solar panels are installed, the system will serve as an educational tool for the district. Students, teachers and community members will have access to real-time energy production data from the system through an online platform. Teachers and district administrators are working on ways to incorporate that data into lessons on solar power, thermal energy and other STEM concepts.
In a statement, Superintendent Tyler Ream thanked Madalyn Quinlan, a Helena resident and member of the Montana Board of Public Education, who worked with the district’s facilities department and Bryant administration on the grants.
The Efficiency Plus Renewable Energy Program is paid for through Universal System Benefits funds, collected from all NorthWestern electric customers in Montana. The Montana Solar Community Project is a statewide partnership, led by the Montana Energy Office, that supports community solar-energy development.
-Reported by Jonathon Ambarian/MTN News