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Solar dream becomes reality

photo by Camden Tucker

Updates to the progress of solar panels

The Onyx construction workers have been working on the PRHS solar panels since May 2017 with twelve-hour shifts starting at 6:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m.  And although the workers work long hours, construction is now expected to be done sometime in October. The initial date for PRHS to get 80 percent of their stalls, or panels, back was Aug. 11, however, the official end date of construction was scheduled for the beginning of September according to Eric Martinez, the PRHS Principal.  But this is to be expected.

Tom Harrington is an assistant principal and a proud bearcat.

“Construction projects routinely run over time,” explained Assistant Principal Thomas Harrington,  “That is just the nature [of construction].  There are many different factors that affect the construction process which can not necessarily be anticipated, resulting in projects running over time.”

Some grow impatient with the construction still and wish it to be over.  Others have more complaints about the solar panels because they are not aesthetically pleasing, that there is not enough room for their cars and a concern for where the trees that used to reside have gone to. The trees that once photosynthesized waste created by the student’s cars were put into a chipper over the summer, but many of the trees planted in the school parking lot were not of native origin and were plagued with diseases, according to Harrington.

Although the construction is taking its time for completion and not everyone likes the look of them, they may like the look of an atmosphere with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, an overall cleaner environment, and reduced collective dependence on fossil fuel.  Martinez explained that the panels will produce one megawatt of energy, equaling over $160,741 saved per year.  Within the next twenty years, PRHS will have saved over $5,441,307.

Eric Martinez, PRHS Principal, is proud to be a bearcat.

“Needless to say, the project will pay for more than itself in a form of clean energy that we can be proud of,” Martinez said.

Solar panels are an excellent way to save and make money; Solar Engineering contributes to providing jobs to over 374,000 for Americans (a rise in nearly twenty-five percent from 2015-2016, according to the Fortune). They also help create jobs with good income since Solar Panel installers earn $32000-$48000 depending on experience and knowledge, but Solar Photovoltaic Installers will normally get a wage of  $48,700 per annum, according to Recruiter.

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