Solar-panel system turns Greenport schools 100 percent green

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11/08/2013 5:39 PM |
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Greenport school board president Heather Wolf cuts the 'Porter Purple' ribbon Friday unveiling the district's new solar-powered system.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Greenport school board president Heather Wolf cuts the ‘Porter Purple’ ribbon Friday, unveiling the district’s new solar-powered system.

The Greenport School District is now operating with 100 percent renewable energy through its new solar-powered electrical system.

Superintendent Michael Comanda said last week’s test run showed the district saved 5,200 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere, 275 gallons of gas, 5.6 barrels of oil, more than 2,000 pounds of coal and saved 62 trees.

Nearly 85 percent of the district’s roof is now covered with solar panels, Mr. Comanda said, and the system generated about 156 kilowatts of electricity Friday afternoon.

“Right now, today, we are running the entire building on solar power,” he said. “I think that’s a great accomplishment for Greenport schools.”

A digital kiosk was also installed inside the school. It’s designed to teach students about solar energy and how much more efficient it is than power generated from oil, coal and gas. To view the kiosk information in real time, visit

In 2010, voters approved a $1.27 million bond for the energy project. The school is connected to Greenport Village’s power, which has a contract with the New York Power Authority to transmit hydropower generated in Niagara Falls. Unused power the school generates will return to the village’s utility facilities, officials said.

Pick up The Suffolk Times on Nov. 14 to read more about this story.

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