A ribbon–cutting ceremony on May 19 marked the completion of a solar energy installation at Saint Nicholas Catholic School in Los Altos Hills.
The 105 solar panels were donated by Los Altos-based commercial solar company, SilRay, whose CEO, April Zhong, is a Saint Nicholas parent. SilRay also installed the system on the school’s roof.
As a result of the solar installation, the school will reduce its electricity costs by an estimated $6,600 per year, reduce its carbon footprint and teach students about environmental preservation and scientific advancement in helping preserve the planet with renewable energy.
In celebration of the school’s transition to solar energy, the ribbon–cutting ceremony was held during the morning assembly in front of 240 students, from kindergarten to grade 8. The Mayor of Los Altos Hills, John Harpootlian; Father John Poncini, of the Catholic Community of Saint Nicholas and Saint William; Matt Komar, Principal of Saint Nicholas Catholic School; and April Zhong, each spoke at the event about the importance of protecting the environment with solar.
“This ribbon cutting marks the completion of SilRay’s solar installation at Saint Nicholas School, as part of SilRay’s ongoing commitment to empowering the community with low-cost, clean, renewable energy,” Mayor Harpootlian said. “When you look at this installation, it’s only part of the equation. It’s still up to you to conserve the earth’s resources you use not just here, but at home and in all aspects of your life.”
April Zhong said besides cost savings, which will make more funds available for students, teachers and educational programs at the school, the solar installation will provide children with the opportunity to learn about renewable energy.
“My hope for the students is that they will become solar ambassadors who will advocate for renewable energy in the community, setting an example for environmental stewardship,” Zhong said.
SilRay, whose mission statement includes engaging and empowering the local community, was additionally invited by teachers at Saint Nicholas to come back and teach students about solar energy to sixth grade students.
The solar array installed at the school is expected to produce over 37,210 kilowatt hours of electricity per year and prevent 36 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment.