Thursday - Sep 21, 2017

Students to build more than 100 renewable energy kits in PG&E’s Solar Suitcase Program


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by PGE Public Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today a $400,000 grant that will put more than 100 portable solar kits into the hands of 2,000 students through central and northern California. Students will build portable solar units, participate in local sustainability projects and advance energy equity globally by providing clean, reliable power to energy-scarce regions of the world.

“PG&E Solar Suitcase students have the opportunity to explore and learn about key renewable energy sources in a way that is both educational and meaningful. Not only do students learn interactively about STEM concepts, but they also make significant impacts locally and globally by providing entire communities with easy access to clean energy,” said Ananda Baron, senior director of Community Relations.

The kits, which are supplied by the nonprofit, We Share Solar, are small, portable photovoltaic lighting systems, powerful enough to illuminate a classroom. Teachers will be trained to teach their students about designing solar electric systems and give them the hands-on experience of assembling the Solar Suitcase kits.

Participating student groups will be invited to submit videos of their own local sustainability projects to a program-wide video contest. Winning schools and organizations will have the opportunity to send two student representatives, accompanied by a teacher, to deliver solar suitcases to schools and community-based organizations in rural Ecuador with the nonprofit WE Charity. Additional suitcases will be sent to Kenya and other energy-scarce regions around the world.

“The We Share Solar team has been inspired by PG&E’s partnership with our organization to provide innovative, engaging STEM learning to students and teachers. The global service component of the program continues to be a source of inspiration for the next generation to realize that they can make a tangible difference by applying engineering to solve a real-world problem,” said Hal Aronson, co-founder and director of education and technology for We Share Solar.

Since its inception in 2015, the PG&E Solar Suitcase program has:

• Trained and supported 37 teachers across Northern and Central California
• Educated 2,015 Californian students on sustainable energy
• Delivered clean, renewable energy to 15,000 Kenyan students.

How to apply: The deadline to apply for your school or organization is May 24, 2017. Winners will be notified by June 7. For more information and to apply, visit pge.com/solarsuitcase.