Solar array may be installed in time to catch the summer sun


Madelyn Chau

Two years ago the WBHS Earth Club set a goal of obtaining a solar array that would power the entire science department of our school. Originally, the goal was anticipated to be reached in 2020, but with the combined efforts of earth club members, our generous staff, physics students, and parents of the West Bloomfield community, solar-powered science has become a reality in half that time.

On April 19, Earth Club members gathered for a super-share in which they reached out to the greater West Bloomfield community to ask for donations to the cause. Susan Speziale, WB community member, said about the fundraiser that she was “happy to fund such a worthy cause.” And it seems as if many people were, because Earth Club was supported by 132 donors. In a matter of days, thousands of dollars were raised, and the club ended up with $5160 on April 22, with $5000 being their goal.

Along with grants that were won and over $20,000 that were raised the previous year, Earth Club will now be able to purchase a solar array and install it, saving $3000 annually for WBHS as well as preventing 30 tons of toxic gas from entering the air each year.

These are not the only impacts Earth Club plans to make. Mr. Joshua Barclay, Sustainability Coordinator and WBHS Physics Instructor, stated that when the solar array is installed, WBHS will have the largest solar array of any public school in Michigan. By earning recognition from the public, Earth Club hopes to be the trailblazer for all schools in Michigan in using clean energy sources.

“We’re making history,” said Barclay, staff sponsor of the club. Throughout the journey, members of Earth Club documented and recorded all steps, making sure that the way to a greener planet would be available for the public to learn about. The goal was to inspire others to follow suit. As said by Jason Israilov, WBHS senior, Earth Club’s objective was to “continue saving the environment, one kilowatt at a time.”

It is expected that the installation of the solar array will begin this spring, allowing for solar energy to power WBHS in the coming school year. Until then, Earth Club members and Barclay’s physics students will be preparing for the Earth Fair.