Students have been the driving force behind the continuing decline in energy costs at Camden Hills Regional High School since it opened in 2000. While the school owns and operates the 155-foot tall wind turbine erected in 2012, the genesis and work to bring wind power to the high school came from the Windplanners, a student organization dedicated to making Camden Hills self-sustainable.
Now the students have set their sights on an even brighter future by helping the school board approve a new solar power project which, once completed, will generate 200,000 kilowatts of electricity.
The students have already helped lower the school’s energy costs from $250,000 in its first year of operation by erecting the wind tower and replacing all interior lightbulbs with energy efficient LEDs. Once the new solar project is completed and the students complete their initiative to change exterior lights to LEDs, officials at the school estimate its annual electricity bill will drop by 80 percent, to less than $40,000. While the primary goal of the school systems is education, this initiative allows the students at Camden Hills to teach everyone that transitioning to clean energy makes good economic sense.