On October 30, Superintendent Chip Kimball will receive on behalf of the Singapore American School (SAS) the Solar Pioneer Award from the Singapore Economic Development Board.  This award recognizes SAS for their installation of 3356 photovoltaic panels (a 1 MW system) in August 2013. SAS’ goal is to reduce their energy usage by at least 10% per year. It is one of the two largest solar panel systems in Singapore. The other 1 Mega-Watt solar panel system in Singapore is the NEWater reclamation and treatment plan in Ulu Pandan.

Now in its fifth year, the Solar Pioneer Awards recognize pioneering private sector solar installations in Singapore that have set high standards in terms of innovative system design, size of systems and capability development.  Attending the Photovoltaic Asia Pacific conference will be guest of honor the Singapore National Environmental Agency CEO Ronnie Tay.

By developing a strategic partnership with Sunseap (the Singapore company that installed and manufactures the system) and SERIS (Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore), SAS expanded their opportunities for student shadowing, mentoring, student involvement in SERIS laboratories and research and development projects.

SAS Superintendent Chip Kimball said, “I am honored that our project was selected to receive this prestigious award.  It’s only been two months yet we have seen a significant decrease in our usage and electricity costs.  I know that many of the faculty and students are excited! [This project] positions SAS to become a world leader in K-12 renewable energy education.”

SAS teachers and students will work with the solar panels and connect them to topics such as climate change, sustainable engineering, energy economics, urban planning, and geopolitics. SAS High School Chemistry and Alternative Energy teacher Simon Bright said that he’s looking forward to the increased possibilities for hands-on learning and research.  SAS High School Biology and AP Environmental Science teacher Martha Began is ecstatic about the new system. She believes that this project will inspire other innovative environmental initiatives at SAS.

“Scientists are finding from the data that the threat of climate change is graver than we thought,” she said.  “[This] will fill every single member of the SAS community with a sense of pride, knowing that we have taken action and that the proof is physically in front of us… It will empower us to make even more changes for the better.”

Established in 1956, the school primarily serves the American and international expatriate communities of Singapore. SAS is registered with the Singapore Council for Private Education, affiliated with the Office of Overseas Schools through the U.S. Department of State, and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Article published by: Newswire, Kehau Kali