First Net Zero School in Nation

Richardsville elementary school in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will soon produce more energy than it consumes. The 77,000 square foot, $12.6 million building will be the first school of its kind. Net zero status for the school means zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually.

Sunny days will completely power the school. If it’s raining or cloudy outside, the school can get its power for the electrical grid system.

Partially funded through a state grant, the $2.4 million dollar solar panel project will help the school use 75 % less energy than other schools.

The school roof will support approximately 2000 solar panels and another 700 panels will be on the school parking structure.The schools unused solar energy will be sold back to the Tennessee Valley Authority and used to power about 50 neighboring homes.

One hallway features an exposed solar panel where teachers and students can see how much energy is being produced and serve as a useful teaching tool.

Other high performance features of the school are concrete insulated walls, compact 2 story design, energy star kitchen, high windows to bring in outside light and bamboo flooring in the gym.

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