What: A nearly 200 kilowatt solar power system
Who: Baylor School
Location: 171 Baylor School Road
Age: The array started generating power two weeks ago
Energy savings: The 858-module array will generate more than 260,000 kilowatt-hours a year, enough to supply about 50 average homes with all the power needed. With tax credits and TVA Generation Partners assistance, the panels will pay for themselves through energy savings within 10 years, according to Larry Roberts, the school's sustainability coordinator. They are expected to last at least 25 years.
Educational benefits: The array will be used as a real-life laboratory setting for Baylor's students. Overcoming the disconnect between textbook learning and the real world can be difficult, Roberts said. "For a lot of these kids, it's better to be able to see it, feel it, touch it," he said.
Future plans: Roberts hopes that the solar panels will be the first of many that will benefit the school, community and environment and teach the realities of sustainable energy. "We need to educate people that these are real," he said. "It's not just smoke and mirrors."