Small-town students powered by clean-energy project

MARK D. DUNN

Special to Globetechnology.com

May 29, 2008 at 4:05 PM EDT

Hardhats and safety harnesses are the latest in spring fashion wear at Elliot Lake Secondary School. Students don the gear while climbing the school roof, where 12 solar panels and a vertical wind turbine are being installed.

The project, which will generate 5.5 kW of renewable energy, was made possible with a $50,000 grant from the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Community Conservation Initiative (CCI) along with additional help from local partners. It’s a rare, hands-on learning opportunity in clean energy for students that also helps power the school’s cafeteria’s kitchen.

The school of 500 sits near the centre of town, surrounded by forested lots of small-town suburbia. Adjacent to the ELSS parking lot, a hump of bare Canadian Shield marked by 50 years of graffiti looms as a reminder that this is hard country.

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