Interactive Solar Display to Educate Students in Fun and Creative Way
Cayce, S.C. – Today representatives from SCE&G and the Columbia Museum of Art along with third grade students from Logan Elementary School gathered in the Museum’s atrium to unveil a new, interactive solar display. The Solar Exploration Station allows visitors to take the power of the sun into their hands and learn more about solar energy and the Museum’s rooftop solar panels in a fun and creative way.
Since 2011 the Columbia Museum of Art has harnessed renewable power from 177 solar panels positioned on top of its roof. Working with SCE&G, the South Carolina Energy Office and Sunstore Solar, the museum secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement the renewable energy project.
“The Museum was the very first downtown solar customer, and it’s been a huge success,” said Casey Logan, power quality engineer at SCE&G, who was involved with the project from the beginning. In fact, the panels generate enough green power to offset 10 percent of its daily energy needs.
The Solar Exploration Station is located in the Museum’s lobby and allows students to shine a light on mini solar panels that illuminate the galleries of a model art museum. Teachers are encouraged to go online and download the customized, corresponding lesson plans to continue learning about solar energy in the classroom. For information visit: columbiamuseum.org/lessonplans.
“The addition of the SCE&G Columbia Museum of Art Solar Exploration Station provides students and educators the unique opportunity to see the connection between science and art in action, which is the basis for STEAM-Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math,” said Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby, director of education at the Columbia Museum of Art.
In late 2013, SCE&G announced a new renewable energy team and committed to installing 20 megawatts of solar energy on its system by 2020. Over the past several months, SCE&G worked with solar stakeholders from across the state to develop comprehensive consensus legislation, and June, the landmark Distributed Energy Resource Program Act was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley, opening the door for increased solar installations in South Carolina.
The company took another step forward in advancing its renewable energy commitment in late August by issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the first two solar farms to be constructed on its system. The RFP calls for bidders to provide solar power to the utility through purchased power agreements with the selected solar developer(s). SCE&G intends to work with solar developers to locate the solar farms on company-owned property in North Charleston and Cayce.
“The new solar display will help students better understand how solar works in an engaging way,” said Therese Griffin, marketing manager of SCE&G’s renewable energy products and services team. “Part of our commitment to renewable energy is identifying educational and community outreach opportunities such as this partnership with the Columbia Museum of Art. We hope it will spread the message that a clean energy future is important for South Carolina.”
For more information about SCE&G’s renewable energy initiatives visit www.sceg.com/solar.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 684,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 332,000 customers in 38 counties in the state.