School’s ‘green’ initiative to include cost-benefit analysis

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Calculating the cost benefits and return on investment will be part of a “green” initiative that includes solar, wind, composting, recycling and gardening initiatives at Hudsonville High School, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

In addition to a wind turbine and solar awning, the $70,000 project includes a compost pile, lettuce garden, weather station and expanded recycling program, The Press reported.

The district received a grant toward the project from Energy Works Michigan, which is funded through the state Public Service Commission to support renewable energy programs at 63 schools, according to The Press. Local donors also contributed 25 percent of the funding.

There was not sufficient wind to generate power at the time of the reporter’s visit, the article said, though a solar awning was generating 678 watts, according to environmental strategies teacher Christine Webster.

Webster said the equipment generates data that will be used in science classes and that also will be tied into a website that anyone can access, according to The Press.

“We have no other place to go (than Earth). You either do this or you all go down in the boat together,” Webster told The Press.

The district’s photovoltaic panels have generated 14.6 kilowatt-hours of energy and curbed 24.8 pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions since the awning was installed earlier this month, The Press reported.

The Grand Rapids Press, “Hudsonville students study 'green' initiatives with grant-funded wind turbine, compost, weather station,” Nov. 17, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Slaves to Green Ideology,” Oct. 6, 2010