In this week's Newsletter: Solar One educators hit a home run at Spring STEM Institute, Repo Man and solar's residual market, New York students demand climate change curriculum, and much more!
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Spring STEM Institute with Solar One: A Smashing Success

Last week during Spring Break, the entire education team led a 3-day development training for the Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Learning at the NYC Department of Education's first ever "Spring STEM Institute." We were invited by Linda Curtis-Bey, ED of the Dept of STEM to provide lessons from our CleanTech curriculum. The institute will be held twice a year (spring and summer) going forward, and we hope to participate again. More than 20 teachers from the NYC school system participated in the training, which included lessons and activities including learning to design wind turbines and  build batteries; conduct a solar site assessment; and use topographic maps to study climate change resiliency in NYC.

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the teachers who participated:

"The session reawakened my creativity as a teacher in my lesson planning."

"This was a great and practical workshop that every teacher and administrator should take. This is a global and social issue that needs more attention."

"Each educator shined in the light all their own. They are light years ahead of me in being informed about the cutting edge of science in their fields. This was a powerful and valuable opportunity for me to infuse fresh knowledge and up to date information and philosophy into my lessons."

"One of the best PDs I have attended since 1995!"

"It was place-based, very realistic and touches you because it makes you feel part of it and the issues. Thank you so much, it was worth my spring break!"

"My best take away is that you can use green ideas in any science classroom."

Congratulations to the education team on a job well done!  For information about Solar One’s Green Design Lab and CleanTech programs, please contact

What Repo Man Can Teach Us About Solar's Residual Value

If you’ve never seen Repo Man, Alex Cox’s 1984 sci-fi comedy tale of a kid who gets caught up in the repo business, starring a very young Emilio Estevez, it’s highly entertaining, and highly recommended. But the repo model also has some interesting value for the future of solar power.

But what does repossessing cars have to do with solar panels?

In this article from Greentech Media, Colin Murchie asks, “What happens to solar systems once the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) under which they were installed expire?”

Generally speaking, what happens at the end of an agreement term is that the consumer and the investor are responsible for removing the outdated panels. The cost of removal can be so high that there are actually companies offering replacement-removal insurance, or even demanding a fund be set up to cover these future costs.

But what if someone started a business to repo the panels, set them up on some highly undesirable land and then sell the electricity? If a residual value market developed, it would lower the costs and therefore the barriers to more robust solar development.

Of course, solar panels last a long time, and why would anyone want to take them down, anyway? Nevertheless, everything gets outdated sooner or later, and at some point in the future, uninstalling panels (and either marketing the electricity or selling the panels for scrap) may provide as many jobs as installing them.

Global Kids and ACE Need Your Help to Pass Climate Education Law for NYS

There's no question that the youth of today will be more impacted by the effects of climate change than any other generation living. More of their resources and time throughout their adult lives will be needed to deal with unstable weather patterns, sea level rise, food and water scarcity and a host of other anticipated problems. 

Global Kids' youth leaders have teamed up with the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to ask the New York City Council to support Resolution 0375-2014, which calls on the state Department of Education to include climate change in its K-12 curriculum.

Currently, at least 11 councilmembers have sponsored the bill, including Costa Constantinides and Donovan Richards, who introduced the resolution last August. Global Kids and ACE have also asked NYC schools' chancellor Carmen Farina to support their cause, and have held rallies at City Hall.

On Earth Day this Wednesday, the youth leaders will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall at 10am, with Councilmembers Constantinides and Richards, and they would definitely welcome your presence and support.You can also sign their petition to the Council here.

Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Stay tuned for more spring events coming up soon!

Other Events

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Fort Greene)
Habana Outpost, Fulton Street & South Portland Avenue, Brooklyn,10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Green Community Vision Environmental Conference
First Corinthian Baptist Church, 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd bet 166th & 117th Sts. Manhattan, 10am-2pm, free

Earth Day New York in Union Square
Union Square Park, Manhattan, 12-7pm, free

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Bay Ridge)
Poly Prep Country Day School, 7th Avenue at Baseball Field, south of 92nd Street, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Cobble Hill)
PS 29, Baltic Street between Henry and Clinton Streets, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

It's Now or Never! Three Days of Action Against Fossil Fuels for the Climate
Various locations throughout the 5 Boroughs, Monday-Wednesday, free

Brooklyn CHP Industrial Power Breakfast & Tour
Fairway Market Red Hook, 500 Van Brunt Street , Brooklyn, 8:30-10:30am, free

Earth Day NY 25th Anniversary
Locations throughout the city, all day Wednesday, free

Annual Broadway Spring Textile Recycling Drive
Duffy Square, Broadway at 46th St, Manhattan, 11am-2pm, free
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