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Funhouse Commons Focused on Solar Education Project

Funhouse Solar Installation close upThe Funhouse Commons is in the process of becoming OPALCO’s 170th local renewable energy generator, bringing our total production to 1 megawatt capacity of locally produced power. The Funhouse will use their solar system as a demonstration project for renewable energy education while offsetting energy costs and storing energy credits on our cooperative grid for the rainy gray days.

Funding was provided in 2013 by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Solar 4R Schools program through a grant of $50,000 and an Energy Education grant of $15,000 from OPALCO. Streamside Renewables, a local Orcas business, is installing the 12 kilowatt system and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation will be installing an educational kiosk at the Funhouse to display live and historical data. The installation should be finished by the end of October.

“This project is a win-win for all – educational for kids, good for the environment and helps keep our operating costs low,” says Executive Director, Krista Bouchey.

Check out a video showing what Funhouse kids were thinking about solar power – before programming began. The Funhouse has already begun implementing a renewable energy curriculum in the after-school and summer day-camp programs. A few examples of projects kids have worked on include: baking with solar ovens made out of pizza boxes; wind power dioramas; and constructing miniature solar cars.

Funhouse solar pizza ovensOther educational programs planned include a renewable energy teacher training program and interactive classroom materials to give Funhouse participants hands-on experience with solar and wind energy activities. To get involved in the Funhouse’s renewable energy education programs, please contact Krista Bouchey at 376-7177.

Everyone can participate in the local renewable power scene – whether or not you can generate power yourselves: support MORE (Member Owned Renewable Energy) by purchasing blocks of locally produced green power; invest in a local Community Solar project; learn more by getting involved with the Funhouse Commons. For more information, go to www.opalco.com/energy-savings/renewable-generation/.

For more information on Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Solar 4R Schools program, go to www.solar4rschools.org and to BEF’s main page at www.b-e-f.org. BEF is a non-profit active in the areas of carbon, water, and energy. BEF serves primarily consumer-owned utilities in the BPA served districts of the Pacific Northwest.