- September 23, 2021
- by Nokomis Energy
In celebration of our partnership with Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, an international leader in education, Nokomis Energy hosted the first annual Energy Education Day at a community solar garden in Faribault, Minn. The Shattuck-St. Mary’s campus is subscribed to eight of Nokomis Energy’s solar gardens.
On September 14, 2021, a group of science and engineering students, led by instructors Greg Simons and Alex Jones, were able to see firsthand what a community solar garden in operation looks like. They also got the first look at a new energy monitoring tool created by Nokomis Energy, which will be integrated into their STEM curriculum, and learned about the benefits of pollinator habitat beneath the solar gardens.
Opening remarks were delivered by Nokomis Energy partner Brendan Dillon, Director of Community Engagement, Corey Orehek, and Shattuck-St. Mary’s Head of School, Matt Cavallier.
“If we are going to do what we need to in this energy transition, it’s going to take a lot more people focused on getting things done,” said Dillon. “And the more we can get young people involved, getting them on a path to a career in renewables, the better.”
“The savings, which are considerable, will save us about $70,000 this year and we expect to save about $1.3 million over the lifetime of this partnership, which is really great,” said Cavallier.
Nokomis Energy partner Dan Rogers led the students and faculty on a tour through the solar gardens, explaining how renewable energy production and equipment works, from start to finish. He was able to answer many questions the students had, ranging from the effects of weather on the amount of energy collected, to the details of how a community solar garden subscription can deliver savings to subscribers.
Max Ryba-White, design associate at Nokomis Energy, explained that each of Nokomis Energy’s solar gardens incorporate pollinator habitat beneath the panels. The native plant communities are seeded when the gardens are built and are maintained as part of a healthy ecosystem, providing critical habitat and food sources for years to come.
The final component of Energy Education Day was the introduction of an energy monitoring tool, developed by software engineer, Peter Kirwin, Orehek and Nokomis partner, Julian White, with input from instructors Simons and Jones. The tool, which will allow students to see energy production at multiple solar garden sites, both in real time and provide historical data, will help them understand how different factors affect the levels of energy produced. They will be able to compare data day-to-day, week-to-week and year-to-year at multiple solar garden sites. The tool will be integrated into the STEM curriculum at Shattuck-St. Mary’s and maintained by Nokomis Energy.
“Nokomis brought benefits well beyond the financial aspect. Our students can now see and touch clean energy,” said Cavallier.
Transforming lives since 1858, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School is a place where students come to pursue their dreams and create new dreams in the process. It is a place where honored traditions meet innovation. It is a place where the word “imagine” is part of the routine vocabulary of students, teachers and coaches. In short, this Episcopal boarding and day school has been—and continues to be—a place that has nurtured generations of young people from all over the world!
Nokomis Energy is a clean energy developer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our mission is to identify opportunities to create clean, low-cost energy projects for the people, businesses and communities of the Upper Midwest. We work directly with our customers and partners to implement and build clean energy solutions that work for your specific needs.
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