AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School Goes Green

MDS_Panels_02 (Small)

With international attention focused on environmentalism, AGBU
Manoogian-Demirdjian School (MDS) of Canoga Park, California is doing
its part to stop global warming with its recent installation of solar
panels on the rooftop of the school. The brainchild of AGBU Central
Board member Sinan Sinanian, this bold environmental move makes MDS the
first private school in the Los Angeles area to incorporate solar power
into its energy needs.
Last year, the Board of Trustees contracted California Green Designs, a
company that designs and installs renewable energy sources, to provide
the school with sun-powered electricity. The solar panels were installed
on the roof of the high school building and the gym to eventually
provide the school with 40% of its energy needs.
Not only does the solar energy decrease the energy costs, but the school
will also be decreasing harmful emissions to the air by using this
environmentally friendly energy option.
“We believe we have made the right choice, pioneering for the sake of
our environment by providing a great example for other schools to
follow,” MDS announced in a press release.
The panels were installed on the rooftop of the school so space would
not be taken away from the playground. The primary advantage is
increased student awareness of environmental and economic benefits
through alternative energy. Through this project, the students have
become more environmentally aware and, in turn, can educate other
students in the same vein.
Sinan Sinanian knew solar power was a good fit for the school. “The
solar panels helped the institution save on energy costs while promoting
the values of conservation and environmental awareness.
Manoogian-Demirdjian is dedicated to the goals of excellence, which
extends beyond the classroom. We hope our students learn to become not
only good students but also good citizens,” he says.
The cost of the project was $1.2 million (USD). The Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power gave a rebate for almost half the amount
and the energy cost savings will pay for the rest of the project in
about 7 to 8 years. “As of today, we are saving thirty percent on our
electricity bill,” said Levon Keshishian, MDS’ Director of Business
Operations.
To keep students, parents and the public informed about MDS’ ambitious
program, the school has created a solar power page on the MDS website,
which keeps track of the amount of greenhouse gases that have been
avoided since installation last year. Since August 29, 2007, the MDS
solar panels have generated enough energy to power 1,539 American homes
for one day. For more information, please visit www.agbumds.org and
click on the red “Solar Power Meter” button for a full report on the
energy savings.

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