IREA sponsors solar competition for schools

By Dr. Sonia Vogl

Students in this region have an exciting opportunity to do a public project that will benefit their community and themselves. The Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) is sponsoring a school competition in conjunction with the 13th Annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair Aug. 23-24 at Ogle County Fairgrounds in Oregon, Ill.

The IREA is looking for up to 10 teams of five members each to develop a plan to install a solar PV system of at least 1 kilowatt on either a school property or another public building in their community as an expression of appreciation to the public for educational opportunities available to them.

The plan should include a commitment for installing a solar system on a public building, a fund-raising project to help defray the cost of the system, and gaining the necessary community approvals and permits for the project.

The teams will be expected to attend this year’s energy fair to hear the two major speakers and attend other workshops or presentations they select. Attendance as a team is necessary to be eligible to compete.

Plans are to be submitted by April 2, 2015, for judging by the committee. The teams that have made the most progress toward the goal will be judged to be the winners.

The first prize will be $500; the second- and third-place winners will receive $300 and $200. Money is to be used to further educational efforts in renewable energy.

For more details, e-mail or

From the July 9-15, 2014, issue

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