The Challenge: If we raise $50,000 for a solar panel project, Madison Metropolitan School District will match $25,000 towards our initiative. Each year, this system will power 5 houses, offset 40,000 pounds of carbon emissions, and generate $5,000 in energy savings.
What is the current status of the project?
West Green Club recently surpassed $100,000 raised in funds, far exceeding its initial goal of $50,000. The solar project is now in the Madison Metropolitan School District’s hands as they decide how to proceed with the project. Many considerations need to be made in order for the project to proceed; Madison West High School’s roof needs to be replaced, approval needs to be secured from the School Board, and final contracting decisions have to be made. West Green Club is optimistic that the solar panel system will get installed in Summer of 2019.
Any tax-deductible donation is greatly appreciated. Through a contribution of $500, you can adopt an individual solar panel under your name.
All calculations used to derive any figures can be found here.
What makes this solar project unique?
This renewable energy project is the only effort, at this scale, led by high school students in the greater Madison area that addresses the need for increasing student awareness of environmental issues. Thus, the importance of this project is significant; were the school or district to install solar panels without the initiative being led by high school students, the impact of this project would be greatly mitigated: no sustainable, long-term increase in awareness of energy efficiency among students at Madison West High School would be made. With this project driven by students, however, the entire student and staff body will have the opportunity to recognize the existence of an organized, committed effort to improve the sustainability of Madison West High School, only furthering the materialization of other student-led projects with an aim towards promoting environmental awareness.
Are you collaborating with other organizations on this solar project?
Our project involves numerous community organizations committed to environmental sustainability. West Green Club has been working with Sustain Dane and Madison Gas & Electric to learn about the environmental impacts of a solar project like this, while our partnerships with H&H Electric and Full Spectrum Solar have allowed students to understand the considerations that must be made when designing and installing a solar panel array. West Green Club is also working with Madison Metropolitan School District and Foundation for Madison's Public Schools to coordinate the logistical and financial components of this project.
Meanwhile, West Green Club is working with myriad student organizations at Madison West High School across all academic disciplines and interests. For example, AP Environmental Science students are learning about the environmental impacts of solar power and renewable energy; additionally, they have committed to plant 500 tree seedlings upon installation of this project to maximize the reductions in carbon emissions realized by this project. Members of the Native American Student Association and Student Council have pledged to pursue individual fundraising and outreach efforts. Academically, several English teachers have agreed to teach students about the importance of renewable energy and environmental conservation, integrating research papers on such topics into their respective curricula. Finally, West Green Club is planning to work with business and marketing teachers at Madison West High School to integrate discussion and analyses of the finances of an investment this project entails.
What was the inspiration for this solar project?
We started this project after collecting 495 signatures (nearly 25% of the Madison West High School student body) within a week from students petitioning the district to pursue a solar energy project at Madison West High School. Because of the great feedback and support we received, we submitted our project proposal to the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Absolutely. By donating to West Green Club through the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to supporting children's education, you will receive recognition for your tax-deductible contribution. You can make a donation at https://www.westgreenclub.org/donate.
If I adopt a panel, where will my name be recognized?
Your name will be listed on the live solar panel progress tracker on our website and physically at Madison West High School on a permanent plaque.
When do you expect this solar project to be completed?
Our expectation is for the solar panels to be installed in Summer 2019.
What other projects has West Green Club worked on?
A sampling of the sustainability initiatives we have worked on can be found at https://www.westgreenclub.org/initiatives/.
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