Charleston County gets first solar-powered school

Charleston County gets first solar-powered school

JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - It was an all-out celebration at Haut Middle School on Johns Island.

Members of the Charleston County School District, along with representatives from Berkeley Electric Cooperative and Santee Cooper, were there to celebrate the school as the county's first green power solar school.

A solar panel, which stands outside the school's gymnasium, will take energy produced by the sun and re-distribute it as electricity throughout the middle school campus.

Within the next week, sixth graders at Haut Gap are expected to begin tracking the solar data, which will generate an estimated one percent of the school's electricity.

Officials hope to use the solar panel as a hands-on learning tool.

"This is a step of exposing them to what solar energy can do and it is a resource out there that we need to be more aware of," said Berkeley Electric's President and CEO Dwayne Cartwright.

The solar panel was donated to the school, courtesy of Berkeley Electric and Santee Cooper.

A Charleston County school official estimated the cost of purchasing a solar panel at more than $25,000.

"When you learn about something in the textbook or on the iPad, that's one thing," said Haut Gap principal Travis Benintendo. "When you're able to go outside and see it for real, it brings it alive."

Students can monitor all energy generated through the Santee Cooper website.

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