The four Ransom Everglades students who pushed for the installation of a huge solar array on the school’s gymnasium roof squeezed into the gym’s control room on May 17 and flipped a large red switch, officially starting the flow of solar energy.
Moments later, a solar meter projected on a large screen in the gymnasium displayed some great news: in the mid-day sun, the panels were collecting nearly twice as much energy as the building could use at that moment.
See WSVN-7 story here
The landmark day for Ransom Everglades opened with a celebratory press conference, a few speeches and a burst of solar power that, over the next year, is expected to total 157,000 kW, save more than $25,000 and offset a quarter million pounds of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of planting some 1,800 trees.
The event concluded with City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell climbing a pair of ladders up to the gymnasium roof, eager to capture the 305 solar panels with his smartphone for social media. See drone footage here.
“We’re showing our commitment to environmental sustainability,” Head of School Penny Townsend said, “and we’re also today highlighting the leadership of four students, Students or Solar, who have really embraced [RE founder] Paul Ransom’s mission of putting more into the world than you take from it.”
The Students for Solar members – Wirth Munroe ’22, Madison Munroe ’22, Julian Stancioff ’22
and Daniel Stancioff ’23
– headlined the day’s festivities with their official flipping of the solar switch, but they recalled that the real work began more than two years ago, when they petitioned RE’s board of trustees to make a significant commitment to solar power.See WLRN report on Students for Solar here
“We’re excited to see the solar panels and the environmental impact,” Madison Munroe said. “We have so much pride knowing our effort has paid off.”
The county’s Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert, also an RE parent, attended the press conference along with RE’s Director of Environmental Sustainability Kelly Jackson and STEM Department Chair Doug Heller. RE trustee David Duckenfield also joined, along with several supporters of the project: Kristen and Wirth Munroe, Alex and Lisette Stancioff – the parents of the students – and Andreas and Kathryn Mustad.
Goldin Solar founder and CEO Daren Goldin shared information about the installation, which project leaders believe to be one of the largest on a school in South Florida.
“This was a really exciting project,” said Goldin, whose mother attended high school at RE. “The fact that high school students had so much involvement in making this project happen symbolizes what this is all about. It’s passing on the torch to the next generation that’s going to lead the world and step up and solve problems in the world.”
Russell lauded the students and Ransom Everglades, noting that Miami had prioritized sustainability initiatives with the goal of getting to net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide as a city by 2050.
‘Thank you so much for doing this for the community,” Russell said. “Most importantly, you are setting an example for the next generation – who knows how important this is … Ransom Everglades is already ahead of game. Thank you so much for investing in our climate … and, of course, solar energy.”