The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Midwest Office is happy to announce the release of the Request for Proposals for the "Sun4Schools" program.
NCAT will partner with 5 Iowa schools to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at each school and provide additional educational resources (curriculums, workshops) for the school and local community. In addition to supplying electricity to the facility, the solar array will serve as an educational and research tool, and as a symbol of the schools commitment to saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint. The "Iowa Sun4Schools" program is designed to reward schools who have actively pursued energy saving measures in their facilities and selection criteria will be based on the community buy-in in the schools conservation efforts.
The main objective of this project is to demonstrate the benefits of solar energy while providing a unique educational opportunity for students and their communities. NCAT has developed a curriculum for teachers to maximize the educational potential of the solar arrays. The Iowa Sun4Schools project will have the added benefit of providing solar installation experience for local electricians, while helping to grow the market for solar in Iowa. Funding for this project is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is managed by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence.
Rather than funding each individual school to design, purchase and install a unique solar array, NCAT will provide each school with a pre-packaged system including solar panels, a grid-tie inverter and a mounting rack. All components will be the same for each system. This will allow NCAT to bulk buy system components and keep equipment prices down, while also building a state network of identical data collection sites to provide consistent monitoring for future research, education and modeling projects. Along with the system components, NCAT will provide an instructor for a free solar workshop for members of each community selected, and a training session for the local science teachers who will be teaching the NCAT solar curriculum.
Please contact mee if you would like a copy of the RFP. Proposals are due by 5pm April 19, 2010. Please feel free to contact me with any questions - we are happy to assist you and look forward to working with you to submit the best possible proposal.
National Center for Appropriate Technology
"Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value. "
-R. Buckminster Fuller