CIT Unveils Solar Project
Panels will provide educational opportunities and energy savings, say educators.
The Career Institute of Technology is going solar.
The Forks Township technical school unveiled a set of solar panels Tuesday that educators say will save money and energy, and provide students with skills to someday become "green collar" workers.
"We're really ushering in a new era here at CIT," Ronald Roth, the institute's director, told a group of students, teachers, and local educational officials.
He stood in front a row of the panels, which will provide about 18 percent of the school's energy needs. They'll also save the school $640,000 in electrical costs over the next 20 years.
"We use a lot of energy," Roth said, "and as a public school, we have a responsibilty to find ways to do more with less. Somewhere, someone is burning less coal, or less natural gas, or less nuclear fuel."
Dave Turner, the COO for Tangent Energy -- which installed the panels -- said the set-up will also help educate CIT students on how to install solar systems. And as the green jobs field expands, its workers will need to know skills like carpentry and drafting, skills the CIT is already teaching.
CIT teacher Joseph Stemrich said some of his former students are already working on solar projects around the country. They've worked with solar power before, but never on this level.
"Previously, we've been able to light up a 100 watt light bulb," Stemrich said. Now, he added, "We get to be able to see how solar power lights up a school."