National Cathedral School

  • Location:

    Washington, DC

  • System Size:

    5.76 kW

  • Estimated Monthly Production:

    588 kWh

  • Projected Savings This Year:


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Thanks to the effort of two students, Hearst Hall, a century-old building on the campus of the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC, is now a shining example of the school’s environmental focus.

Charlotte Zimmerman and Christina Boulineaux, co-presidents of the school’s Environmental Awareness Group, proposed the installation of 32 solar panels, researched local solar installers and raised $20,000 to fund the project.“ We felt like this was an accomplishable goal,” says Christina. “We sort of plunged into it.” They funded the project by selling baked goods and reusable bags and with a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

It has given me a sense that I can help make a change and that I can be part of the movement.

To preserve the historic appearance of the building, Astrum Solar installers ensured that the panels would not be visible from the ground. The performance of the panels is, however, very visible via the real-time online performance monitor that tracks the energy production of each solar panel individually.

Students are able to check the daily output and watch their environmental impact grow over time. In the first year, the solar system produced enough clean energy to offset 6.3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of planting 162 trees.

Christina explains that working on the solar panel project has left her feeling empowered. “It has given me a sense that I can help make a change and that I can be part of the movement,” she says.

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