Project Solis: A student-led initiative to achieve carbon neutrality at their school

West Green Club is committed to achieving carbon neutrality at Madison West High School in Madison, WI by implementing renewable energy, resource-efficient solutions, and by increasing education surrounding sustainable practices in educational institutions.

The Problem

Our planet’s youth will be disproportionately burdened by the negative environmental consequences of climate change. Students at Madison West High School in Madison, WI are pioneering a movement that recognizes the importance of promoting youth awareness of sustainability issues and involving youth in environmental advocacy. Upholding an ambitious vision of achieving carbon neutrality at Madison West High School, these students have identified solar energy as one of the most financially-viable, environmentally-beneficial, and socially-impactful forms of renewable energy, particularly for schools.

The Solution

This group of 40 students comprising West Green Club partnered with the Madison school district to launch Project Solis, an initiative to install 100 solar panels on the school’s roof. Within one week, they gathered nearly 500 signatures representing 25% of the school’s student body. This renewable energy project is the only known student-led effort of this size in Wisconsin that addresses the need for increasing youth awareness of environmental issues. Since students drive this initiative, rather than adults (e.g. parents or administrators), youth locally and nationally will be inspired to pursue sustainability projects facing their own communities. Over its 30-year lifetime, the solar array is expected to offset 1.2 million pounds of carbon emissions and generate over $150,000 in energy savings for Madison West High School.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

West Green Club, nonprofit.

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