This story makes me so proud.

http://business-news.thestreet.com/sj-r/story/petersburg-school-nominated-solar-energy-program/1

Petersburg school nominated for solar energy program

PETERSBURG — The PORTA School District could soon add more solar power to its alternative energy portfolio.

Thanks to a wind turbine, solar panels and geothermal heating installed in 2009 at PORTA High School, the district has been saving about $350,000 a year in energy costs, School Superintendent Matt Brue said.

Now, a former student who works for Joule Solar Energy in New Orleans has nominated PORTA Central School for a program that aims to bring solar panels to schools through crowdfunding

Oakland, Calif.-based Mosaic offers an online platform for individuals to invest in solar projects.

When Bob O’Hara received an email from Mosaic saying that the company was looking for schools to work with, he thought of PORTA Central.

O’Hara, 29, attended PORTA schools through eighth grade before enrolling at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield. He moved to New Orleans after graduating in 2002 to attend Tulane University, but he still visits his parents in Petersburg regularly.

He likes to check out the wind turbine at the high school on his visits and thought PORTA Central would be a good candidate for solar panels because of its long, south-facing roofline.

O’Hara said he also knows the district has been facing budget cuts due to dwindling state funding.

“One way to be able to invest in a school is to help them with their energy costs,” he said.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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