Students are shown the solar panels that provide hot water for Delta Secondary School.

Students are shown the solar panels that provide hot water for Delta Secondary School.

Panel discussion heads to school roof

The solar panel initiative of interest to the Delta Secondary Environment Club.

It is not everyday that high school students become enthused about a guided tour of their school roof, but at Delta Secondary School, students recently had ample reason to get excited about a trip to the top of their school.

Delta School District Energy Manager Jim White visited the school to show the Environment Club the solar panels installed on the roof.

The panels were installed last year to provide a solar hot water heating system for the school. Although contributing just a small percentage to the overall hot water system, the educational benefits of having students monitor the system are invaluable. The solar hot water system can be monitored online and is incorporated into classroom work.

The solar panel initiative is of interest to the Delta Secondary Environment Club, which has a mandate of finding and implementing sustainable initiatives in their school. The group is taking part in BC Hydro’s Energy Ambassadors program.

The program empowers students to take action with regards to energy conservation.

A partnership between secondary school teams, school districts and BC Hydro, the Energy Ambassadors program focuses on awareness, action and leadership.

Last year, all of Delta’s seven high schools took part. Delta Secondary, Seaquam Secondary and Burnsview Secondary all installed solar panels, thanks to grants from Solar B.C., Natural Resources Canada, and Fortis B.C.

Delta Secondary, received a $6,000 grant from the Delta School District to install low-energy lights in their school foyer and outdoor areas, initiated a soft plastic recycling program, and created a centennial garden to teach students about gardening and the importance of sustainable food growth.

Seaquam Secondary, was involved with preserving local streams, reducing paper in classrooms, organizing lights-out days, and presenting environmental initiatives to elementary schools.

As part of the Energy Ambassadors program, all participating schools were eligible to apply for a BC Hydro Conservation Grant. Due to their efforts, both Delta Secondary and Seaquam Secondary were recently awarded a $1,000 grant from to help with their future endeavors.

Seaquam will soon install a second water bottle refilling station at their school.

Surrey North Delta Leader