Nature Lights the Way

Renewable Energy Made Visible

Just looking at one of the new wind and solar light poles in front of our elementary schools is sure to bring up a bevy of questions in young children’s minds.

What is it? How does it work? What else could be powered with wind and the sun?

:That’s part of the reason for installing them," said Paul Christensen, director of facilities for KLSD. The new lights are completely independent from the power grid and they offer teaching moments in sustainability and science.

off-grid light poles

the most recent step in KLSD’s commitment to renewable energy

The six new installations— four at IMES, one at KES and one at MPES—are the most recent step in KLSD’s commitment to renewable energy. The district installed eight of these high-tech turbines by the transportation lot on the middle school / high school campus last year.

Each consists of a 30-inch wind turbine and an 80- by 40-inch solar panel on top of a 30-foot pole capped by a street light. The energy is stored in rechargeable batteries located in the poles.

“Each pole’s solar panel and wind turbine charge the batteries that power its LED streetlamp,” said Christensen. “The result is improved illumination with zero increase in our electric bills.”