Officials from Kellenberg Memorial High School (KMHS) in Uniondale announced the launch of a major solar thermal energy project that will help address the heating, cooling and hot water needs of the academic institution in an environmentally responsible and sensitive manner. Participating in the "green energy" kick-off event with KMHS were project partners, Hempstead Town and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The ceremony included KMHS Principal, Brother Kenneth Hoagland; KMHS Assistant Principal, Mr. Kenneth Conrade; KMHS Project Manager, Brother Gary Eck; KMHS Consultant Richard Bivone of RMB Drafting; Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray; Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby; Town Clerk Mark Bonilla; and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin.
The solar thermal collection project will consist of 115 solar panels mounted on the roof of the catholic school's structure, which will transfer fully renewable energy into school heating, cooling and hot water systems, supplying approximately 10% of Kellenberg's energy requirements. The system, to be installed by New York Solar Systems, LLC, is funded through NYSERDA by $945,000 in federal stimulus funds under guidelines from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) State Energy Program, which provides grants to states and directs funding to State Energy Offices from technology programs in DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. States use grants to address their energy priorities and to adopt emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. SEP is distributing $3.1 billion of funding to the states and U.S. territories under the 2009 Recovery Act. Additionally, Hempstead Town has reduced the cost of construction permits by capping the town-issued authorizations at $300. The permit costs would have been approximately $11,500 without the town's fee reduction.
"We are most appreciative of the support and direction of the officials in the Town of Hempstead. The Solar Thermal Collector Project is the next step in Kellenberg's continuing effort to use energy responsibly and in ways that respect the environment. We have already implemented a number of efficiency changes, such as improved lighting, various recycling programs, and the like," Mr. Conrade pointed out.
"Hempstead Town is pleased that we have been able to provide reduced construction permit fees for this school which serves 2,500 students," stated Murray. "Assisting educational institutions in serving their mission is a worthy goal, and I am glad our township could be part of this important project."
Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA said: "All across New York State, federal stimulus funds are helping hospitals, local governments, K-12 schools and higher education institutions lower energy costs and reduce their carbon footprints. This project at Kellenberg School is unique because it not only includes thermal hot water and heat but also cooling. Congratulations to the school and the Town of Hempstead for their commitment to reducing the use of fossil fuels, energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions. Clean energy projects like this, funded through ARRA, will help New York State achieve Governor Andrew Cuomo's ambitious clean energy goals."
The green energy initiative will accomplish a host of environmental goals while meeting the energy demands of a major educational institution in a cost effective manner. The project will help conserve precious natural resources, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce Kellenberg's carbon footprint on the planet while lowering KMHS's energy costs.
Mr. Conrad stated, "The savings of energy costs will help to keep our costs down. We are very conscious of providing a strong college-preparatory program of studies to all of our students, at a reasonable cost to parents. Our goal is to have this project operative by the beginning of school in September."
"This solar energy project demonstrates that you can 'go green' while saving some green," stated Goosby. "Lowering energy costs and protecting the environment at the same time is a wonderful accomplishment."
Town and KMHS officials pointed out that aside from serving the practical energy needs of the school, the solar thermal effort will provide a valuable "real life" learning experience for students. The sun-powered project will meet key academic goals of "education, demonstration and research." Specifically, the KMHS solar energy program will provide educational experience on solar energy, demonstrate the practical applicability of solar thermal technology and provide research data as students explore the ever-growing potential of renewable energy sources.
"Just as Kellenberg's seal includes the torch of learning as the guiding light for students at this Marianist school, the new solar energy system will light the way for other institutions that wish to follow Kellenberg's example in creating a responsible environmental legacy for generations to come," stated Murray.
"Our solar thermal project will be a wonderful complement to the solar electric project which is already in operation at the Town Hall, " said Bro. Gary.