Birmingham’s first “solar powered school” – The Altamont School

Altamont School Birmingham Alabama
Solar array installation at The Altamont School is the first at middle/high school in Birmingham – Photo provided to Bham Now by The Altamont School

The Altamont School is about to become Birmingham’s first “solar powered school.”

For the past week, Eagle Solar and Light, a local solar power systems company, has been installing a multi-paneled solar array alongside the school’s track.

Altamont School Birmingham Alabama
Solar panel installation at Altamont School – Photo by Pat Byington

According to Sam Yates, President of Eagle Solar and Light, once the solar array is installed, approximately one-fifth of the school’s daytime energy consumption needs will be provided by the new solar power system. He estimates the solar array will generate an estimated 22,110 kilowatt-hours a year.

Along with providing a source of energy, the school will be using this solar power installation as an innovative teaching tool.

“The new solar arrays will not only help us reduce our monthly consumption of power, they will also provide many outstanding educational opportunities for our students. Altamont’s Global Initiative theme for this academic year is “Energy Resources and Climate Change,” the solar arrays are one more way we can express that theme and incorporate environmental stewardship into the culture, and practices, of our school,” stated Altamont’s Sarah Whiteside, Head of School.

2016 11 03 Altamont School 015 1 Birmingham's first "solar powered school" - The Altamont School
Photo by The Altamont School

Eagle Solar and Light will also be furnishing a learning kiosk to be displayed in a public place within the school. The kiosk will show real time energy generation metrics from the solar energy system. Additionally, the company will offer renewable energy workshops.

Several elementary and secondary schools have expressed an interest in solar energy systems in the Birmingham area, according to Yates.

More than just solar panels, but also an educational resource, hopefully in the coming months, additional schools will follow The Altamont School’s lead and become a “solar powered” school.



Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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