Hopi students turn to solar, wind energy for greenhouses

December 17, 2012

Schools on reservation lands are turning to solar and wind power to both power classrooms and provide some teaching tools.

At the Moencopi Day School, on the Hopi reservation near Tuba City, solar panels have been installed to heat and cool the greenhouse. That means seedling tomato and chile plants can exist without getting too hot or too cold.

In the past, power outages have been frequent in the remote area. Greenhouse Manager Steven Lomadafkie says incorporating the greenhouse into the classroom is a side benefit.

"Along with the inverters and the batteries there will also be some collection of data which could be used in the classroom, maybe things like the amount of energy on a sunny day versus a cloudy day, or even winter versus summer," Lomadafkie said.

Lomadafkie says the project will be an example to the community of how solar power could be an answer for isolated reservation homes that are miles from the nearest power poles.

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