The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Students for Solar

December 15, 2021

CHPS Students for Solar is a group of Cherry Hill Students that are interested in helping their school district go from fossil fuel energy to solar energy. Solar energy, which is clean and renewable, only makes up a little over 3% of the country’s total energy. On a local level, the Cherry Hill School district uses mostly fossil fuels to power its buildings.

Daniel Ovadia (myself), Ellie Noh, Kyle Lehrfeld, and Crystal Yeh are the co-founders of the group. There is an Instagram account, a Change.org petition, and a reminder to get our message out.

Only about 5.5% of K-12 public and private schools in the U.S. currently use solar power. (Courtesy of @chpsstudentsforsolar on Instagram)

There are multiple reasons that we believe solar power is the best energy option for the school district. The first one is the reason commonly associated with solar energy: environmental reasons. The air quality in Camden County is second-worst in the state of New Jersey, according to New Jersey’s 2021 air quality survey. This air quality could be improved in Camden County if fossil fuels went into the atmosphere at a less extreme level. Another environmental reason that the school district should adopt solar panels is that solar energy, unlike fossil fuels, does not put harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) “When fossil fuels are burned, they release nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, which contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain.” Acid rain in particular is dangerous to the ecosystems of forests, lakes, and other biomes. If we cut down on these emissions, the environment will improve for the population of Camden County.

This all sounds great, but there is just one problem, the price. However, you may be interested to learn that implementing solar panels would actually save money, not waste it.

However, you may be interested to learn that implementing solar panels would actually save money, not waste it. Solar panels are certainly an investment, but it is a worthwhile one.”

— Daniel Ovadia ('25)

Solar panels are certainly an investment, but it is a worthwhile one. They can last for up to 40 years without breaking and are extremely durable. Another thing to consider is that 79% of the solar panels installed on schools were financed by another group, such as a solar developer. Other schools that have implemented them have saved thousands of dollars. Beeler and Van Zant elementary schools have been estimated to have $30,000 to $35,000.

All of this is great, but we need more people working at this cause to reach our goal of having solar panels on Cherry Hill schools. You can help by signing our petition, following our Instagram account (@chpsstudentsforsolar), and joining our Remind. If you really want to get involved, you can leave a public comment at the next Board of Education meeting. All links are here: https://linktr.ee/chpsstudentsforsolar.

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