Duchesne Academy is celebrating the first anniversary of the installation of its rooftop solar panels.
The panels have produced a total of 10.29 MWh of electricity since the system began operating on September 27, 2020. That is the carbon offset equivalent of planting 140 trees or reducing the number of miles driven in a year by 23,000.
The system is designed to offset the energy use in the school’s DREAM lab which houses Duchesne’s 3D printers and other high-tech STEM teaching tools. Last year, the DREAM lab used 9.16 MWh, meaning the panels produced more than enough electricity to power the lab.
Duchesne’s sustainability program is recognized as one of the best in America. The U.S. Department of Education recently named Duchesne a Green Ribbon School, the only school in Omaha to earn the distinction. Assistant Principal Eric Krakowski was honored by the French Embassy in the United States in March for his work leading the sustainability program. Duchesne’s building has a very high Energy Star score of 91 (a percentile score out of 100) which is remarkable because the building was first completed in 1881.
Duchesne’s Sustainability Program is inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, which calls us to care for the Earth as our common home.