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Penn Valley Elementary School


Solar Panels

Solar Panels on the roof of Penn Valley ES

The panels at PVES grew out of students' studies of environmental issues related to energy production and climate change. Students wanted to take action and worked with Joseph Mudd, PVES teacher and co-founder of the Green Council of Lower Merion School District, to raise money to buy the panels. With the support of two different building principals, as well as staff, the students held a number of fund-raising activities at the school level, such as soft pretzel sales and bake sales. Funds were also donated by PVES parents. A PVES alumnus organized a fund-raising event at a community park that generated the largest single private contribution of the campaign at more than $2,000. The final piece of fundraising came via a $25,000 grant from the PA Department of Economic and Community Development, thanks to the assistance of PA State Representative Mike Gerber's (D-148th). The installation of the system was handled by the Lower Merion School District Operations Department under the management of Pat Guinnane, Director of Operations, and Mike McCoy, Supervisor Utilities. Their expertise, with the help of an outside solar contractor, helped keep the overall cost of the system down which in turn allowed maximum purchase of electricity generating panels. Solar energy expert Dr. Pritpal Singh, Chairman, Engineering Dept., Villanova University oversaw the design and specifications of the system as well as finding the optimal location for it.

This system is the result of the combined efforts of many, at multiple levels, over more than three years.