The Solar Panel Farm
The images and description below outlines our Solar Panel Farm project. It is one of the many science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs we offer our students. Your Donation we help us to sow seeds of success and increase our program outreach!
The South Union Community Development Corporation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has provided a free Saturday STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program called The STEM Foundation for the last 6 years for 3rd -12th grade students. We simply expose and build an interest in STEM careers in Houston’s inner-city students through non-traditional delivery of the 4 S.T.E.M. components, weekly presentations of various careers and monthly field trips to see STEM in action.
The Solar Panel Farm is a project that was birthed from some STEM teachings on Renewable Energy. This project will be an “Outdoor Classroom”application for their continual learning on Renewable Energy techniques like Solar and Wind. They will build a 15 KV roof-top application with approximately 56 solar panels (260 watt). The core of the project will be the monthly accounting of kilowatts produced for the Houston Youth Ranch horse stable and determining the excess production that will go to the Energy Grid.
Through this learning experience, The STEM Foundation students will become “The New Power Generation”.
The Solar Panel Farm is also designed to have various extensions of learning through this project (such as…). The project is being built on a 300-acre Harris County Precinct 1 tract of land that is projected to be a future park called Blue Ridge Regional Park. Precinct 1 has provided their support to the use of Renewable Energy devices throughout the park. Future expansions of the park will also allow the students to learn and practice statistics as they strive to design future production systems to reduce and eventually overcome all of the energy needs of the park as it is built out.
Along with the designed extensions of learning, some of the students will:
- Learn Renewable Energy Art. (We have 2 Solar Trees designed as a part of the project where visitors can sit under the tree and read or study while charging their laptops and mobile devices)
- Participate with an agricultural partner, Plant It Forward Farms that will grow produce around the Solar Arrays and provide fruits and vegetables for community seniors. Additional produce will be available to the public through our projected Farmer’s Market that will teach the students economic development.
- Participate and promote the pinnacle of the project by wearing solar backpacks that will be filled with literature and invitations to the projected “Renewable Energy” themed county park. Potentially, this park could be an educational destination for the entire city to visit and learn. (Field trips for the local schools.
- Participate with a NASA partner, NanoRacks to design microgravity experiments from the project that we can be placed on the International Space Station and maybe solve some of today’s world problems.
It is their destiny to become…“Youth Solar Ambassadors.”
On Saturday, April 16, 2016, (Global Youth Service Day), we will perform Phase I of the Solar Panel Farm by placing 12 solar panels on top of a 30’ x 60’ metal structure that will facilitate our “Outdoor Classroom” for our monthly visits to the Houston Youth Ranch horse stable on the 4th Saturday of each month.
The objective of the monthly visits is to have a Math exercise to account for how much solar power was made and how much excess production went to the Energy Grid. (The students have already acquired several monthly bills and know how much energy is needed to power the horse stable) They have an estimate of how much excess will go the the Energy Grid –
They just need to know if their “Science” is correct.
The budget cost of Phase I will be $32,872.22.
- $12,131.22 (12 solar panels)
- $ 2,395.00 (Inverters)
- $12,000.00 (30’x60′ Metal Structure)
- $ 5,376.00 (8 A-frame Park Benches)
- $ 770.00 (Crushed Granite Rock – 11 yards)
- $ 200.00 (Bordering Shrubbery Plants)
Phase II of the Solar Panel Farm is designed to be an extension of the project as the Blue Ridge Regional Park begins its’ building stage. In this phase, we will install the remaining 44 solar panels onto the roof of the Houston Youth Ranch horse stable. The objective of this phase to try and match or eliminate the energy needs as future buildings are brought online.
The budget cost of Phase II will be $17,727.12.
- $13,200.00 44 solar panels (260 watt)
- $ 4,527.12 Fronius Primo 6,000 watt Inverter (2)
Phase III of the project will our learning extension that will combine rows of Solar Arrays and a few Wind Turbines. The agricultural component will be added with the production of fruits and vegetables for seniors and the community as a whole. This phase is also designed to match or eliminate the growing energy needs of the Blue Ridge Regional Park as it is built-out on the 300-acre property.
This phase of the project was originally quoted as costing around $1.4 million. We are hoping that the concept of the project will appeal to many of today’s Renewable Energy and Oil & Gas companies that will support through the sponsoring / purchasing of a row of Solar Arrays, a Wind Turbine or maybe even the donation of certain Solar Panels / Inverters to be on display at this Renewable Energy Park of the future. (Of course, we would love to honor partners with naming rights like “The LyondellBasell Industries Solar Array Row)
The importance of this project becoming a reality:
Over the last 2 years, we have built up hope and self-esteem in a group of inner-city students that they can be pioneers at something! “The New Power Generation”
Unfortunately, a major corporation had us building the project at Phase 3 at $1.6 million, but backed out because of their stockholders last September. (That bad news almost killed the dream) Now, we are settling for a smaller dream that can grow into stages of reality that The STEM Foundation students can become “The New Power Generation” and “The Solar Ambassadors”.
So help us help them believe!!!
Levels of Thankfulness:
- The South Union Community Development Corporation wants to thank you in advance for your support in making this project become a reality.
- The parents of The STEM Foundation students thanks you as well for helping their child / children become the benefactors of such a learning application.
- The seniors of our Senior Lunch program, the local seniors and the community as a whole that will eat healthier will be grateful as well.
- Our community will be grateful to have the 1st Renewable Energy Park as a model for our country.
- NASA / NanoRacks will be appreciative to have our experiment aboard the International Space Station that may be the answer to some of the world’s problems.
- STEM education will be grateful to see another effective way to interest American youth to STEM careers and make our country #1 again.
- Most importantly, YOU will be fulfilled knowing that your money has touched so many lives and is bettering this this world in which we live.
Thank you so much for your time in reading about our need and helping us meet our goal. Thanks!!!