Kelowna Waldorf School Becomes the
"Light of the Community's Heart"!
Scroll down to see a LIVE demonstration of the power this school is contributing to Kelowna!
The Kelowna Waldorf School (KWS) has completed the installation of their photovoltaic system. The official “Solar Launch Event was celebrated today, Thursday, October 13th at noon at the school located at 429 Collett Road. Mayor Sharon Shepherd and the Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA Kelowna Mission, as well as Honorable Member of Parliament Ron Cannan were present in support of this initiative. Members of the school and greater Kelowna community and Class 7 and 8 students were in attendance at this launch.
Mayor Shepherd was pleased to see this project completed and reminded the audience that Kelowna was designated a ‘solar city’ 2 years ago and our city receives more than 2000 hours of sunshine a year making it a great location for solar energy technology. .and that we have pioneering solar enterprises such as the Best Western Hotel, known for its solar hot water installation and other energy retrofits. The Mayor also spoke about the city’s installation of 100 Carmanah EverGEN™ solar-powered area lights to be installed in parks, and various locations throughout Kelowna. This initiative is supported by a Federal Government Grant, donations from Carmanah and city funding.
Honourable MP Ron Cannan was very pleased to see the school supporting its students in learning about progressive technologies and was pleased that a school in Kelowna- Lake Country was a recipient of the grant and learning opportunity.
Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA Kelowna Mission has been very encouraging throughout the process of the school’s project and sees it as a tangible example of positive action towards more sustainable power production.In March 2011, Solar BC awarded the Kelowna Waldorf School a $20,000.00 grant to install a photovoltaic system. The school is the only school in the Okanagan’s school districts, one of eleven in the province of British Columbia, and the sole independent (non-public) school to have received this funding. The KWS chose NOVA Independent Resources Ltd., a Kelowna company, to install a system comprising 19 solar panels. This system has the capacity to generate 4.37 kW, far surpassing the 2.5 kW requirement of the grant. Today Harold Lunner of Nova was in attendance and explained about many aspects of this project and how it can be viewed online anytime as an example of its accessibility to students all over the Okanagan.
The installation is complete and ready for viewing, and makes the KWS a centre of education for green power production, for students and community members alike. Pedagogical Administrator and Grade 7 and 8 Teacher, Cindy Taylor said "This solar project has been a perfect opportunity for the adults of our school community to model for the students how we, as individuals, can take the initiative to make positive changes in our local environment, and that these actions might reverberate through the whole of Kelowna and beyond." The KWS offers the school as an educational site, demonstrating how retrofitting an existing building can create energy efficiency. All are invited and welcome to learn about the sun’s power production, as well as investigate this clean renewable energy solution.
The Kelowna Waldorf School has been inspiring children for over 29 years, currently offering programs from pre-school to Grade 8, with an average student-teacher ratio of 1 to 14. The Waldorf pedagogy aims to develop in children a deep confidence in their own learning. Fostering the development of a deep sense of wonder and respect for life and learning, Waldorf schooling is a balanced education for the “whole child”, engaging the child’s thinking, feeling and willing (doing), and is an education for the head, heart and hands. Waldorf graduates are known to be life-long learners and thinkers.
Solar BC announced June 3rd, that it has awarded its grant to the Kelowna Waldorf School to install a photovoltaic system (download specifications here) to supply locally generated power to the school. The Kelowna Waldorf school is one of eleven schools in BC to receive this grant. Solar BC had a tough time choosing the schools out of the fifty applications they received.
Steve Thomson MLA and Cindy Taylor are pictured here.
Cindy Taylor, the Pedagogical Administrator for the school said, “We are thrilled to receive this grant! Our pupils as well as those in other schools in Kelowna will demonstrate how alternative technologies can and should be used!” The Waldorf School’s curriculum includes solar power, biodynamic gardening and sustainable farming.
The Kelowna Waldorf School will be able to power their lights, stoves, fridges and office equipment. When the school’s energy requirements are lower, the solar energy collected from the panels will “feed the grid” and benefit others in Kelowna. Cindy Taylor said, “In addition to our school reducing it’s carbon footprint, the extra power that we collect will be shared with the community. Community and sharing is part of what Waldorf Education is all about!”
The solar project will begin in the summer and complete by the end of 2011. The public and students of Kelowna will be invited to view the progress of the installation process. Once installed, the pupils will be able to take part in learning exercises about solar energy. As well, the public will be invited to view the photovoltaic system and see how it contributes power to the Waldorf school.