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New solar panels get official dedication at Newman Catholic High School


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Newman Catholic High School's new solar array was officially dedicated today at a ceremony at the high school.

Wisconsin Public Service installed the panels this summer as part of their SolarWise program. SolarWise manager Mike Moore says the panels are intended to be a learning tool as well as a cost savings. "It's enough for the students to be able to see the data and to learn from. It's really a demonstration unit, and it's going to save the school 300 to 400 dollars a year."

The program seeks to bring renewable energy as well as training about solar power to the classroom. Moore says it's all about sparking an interest in renewable energy. "The data along with the curriculum the teachers are getting will help the students to learn from a real practical standpoint. How does renewable energy work, what are the costs and what are the challenges and opportunities as we go forward."

Newman schools president Dr. Jan Klosinski says the panels will be a big help to the school both in cost savings as well as education. "We believe that every portion helps, and it's helping teach the next generation about great conservation measures."

The new solar panels and curriculum will complement the existing environmental science course and other related courses at the school.  The system consists of 10 panels that are about 2 feet in width and 3 feet in length.

Funding for SolarWise for Schools comes from WPS electric customers who choose to contribute tax- deductible donations to the program. About 2,600 WPS customers currently donate to the program. Newman Catholic received a grant from Focus on Energy toward the cost of the solar installation.