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Green Power EMC Energy Education Program

Coastal Electric Cooperative has installed a 1.2 kW photovoltaic system at Richmond Hill High School.

It’s all part of an initiative to teach tomorrow’s energy users about the power of solar.
The $15K investment in solar energy education is a partnership between Coastal Electric Cooperative and Green Power EMC.

Why is Green Power EMC offering the Energy Education Program?

Green Power EMC wants to educate the next generation of energy users of the benefits of renewable energy technologies. Member education is one of the seven principles of cooperatives. Electric cooperatives have a history of successful partnerships with schools.

Green Power EMC has taken a strong leadership role in helping make clean, renewable energy available to Georgia and is continuing to make strides in this area. Experience gained through the installation of small PV systems will help with future efforts.

What is solar energy?

Solar energy takes advantage of the sun’s energy to generate electricity or heat. It is a secure, reliable and clean energy source.

What are the benefits of solar energy?

Using solar energy reduces greenhouse gasses and pollution, preserves natural resources and reduces reliance on traditional energy sources.

What is a photovoltaic system and what does it do?

Photovoltaic (or PV) systems convert light energy into electricity. The term “photo” is a stem from the Greek “phos,” which means light. “Volt” is named for Alessandro Volta (1745 to 1847), a pioneer in the study of electricity. “Photo-voltaic,” then could literally mean “light-electricity”

Most commonly known as “solar cells,” PV systems are already an important part of our lives. The simplest systems power many of the small calculators and wrist watches we use every day.

Photovoltaic cells convert light energy into electricity at the atomic level. Although first discovered in 1839, the process of producing electric current in a solid material with the aid of sunlight was not’t truly understood for more than a hundred years.

Throughout the second half bf the 20th century, the science has been refined and the process has been more fully explained. As a result, the cost of these devices has put them into the mainstream of modern energy producers.  This was caused in part by advances in technology, where PV conversion efficiencies have improved considerably.

Resources and links

Case study (pdf)

Energy Information Administration

Florida Solar Energy Center