Hartland School Celebrates Solar Tracker

Valley News Correspondent
Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hartland — On Tuesday, students and staff at the Hartland Elementary School will celebrate the installation of a solar panel and solar tracker that students won following their participation in a statewide challenge that encourages alternative ways to get to school with the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

Health and physical education teacher Angie Carpenter-Henderson organized the students for the Way to Go School Challenge last fall where they walked from the town recreation center — after most were dropped by bus — to the school.

“It is a great way to get started in the morning,” Carpenter-Henderson said. “We had almost 100 percent participation.”

It was the second year of the challenge, which drew about 9,000 students, staff and faculty from 48 schools across the state. Because Hartland easily met the minimum participation rate of 50 percent, it was eligible to win the solar tracker and panel from AllEarth Renewables in Williston, Vt.

We are thrilled to have solar at our school and look forward to teaching our students about the role of solar energy in creating a more sustainable community,” said Principal Christine Bourne in a release from AllEarth.

Nick Charyk, communications and public affairs manager at All-Earth, said the solar tracker will move the solar panel so that it obtains the maximum exposure to the sun.

“It will move the panel side to side and up and down,” Charyk said. “It will make the solar panel 45 percent more efficient than stationary panels.”

The panel measures about 10 feet across and 16 feet high.

The power produced from the 4kw panel will go straight to the grid and the school will receive a credit on its energy costs under net metering, Charyk said. Annual energy production is estimated at 6,750kwh.

Hartland won the equipment in a raffle and Carpenter-Henderson said the total value is $26,000.

Tuesday’s event is scheduled to begin at 1:45 at the school.

Carpenter-Henderson said she plans to continue having students participate in the Way to Go School Challenge,

 Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com


A 4kw solar panel recently installed on a tracker at Hartland Elementary Schoois is expected to produce 6,750 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the panel and its annual production.