Phoenix students' perseverance leads to solar project at Brophy Prep
Some Brophy College Preparatory students will leave a lasting legacy on their high school campus in Phoenix.
“It’s really important for a lot of people to know — especially high school students — to not just give up right away,” said 17-year-old Sergio Arvizu-Rivera.
He and fellow members of the Student Climate Coalition wanted the Jesuit Catholic high school to invest in a campus solar project. Arvizu-Rivera said the administration agreed the group could present their proposal to the Board of Trustees.
“It was a good half year of just researching, meeting with different solar companies, going to like solar farms, stuff like that,” he said. “And then a year to prepare the presentation, get our numbers correctly, memorize the script and then finally present at the end.”
The board approved the rooftop and carport solar systems and Brophy contracted with Ameresco Inc. to develop and install the solar arrays. Earlier this month, Brophy dedicated the completed project off Central Avenue south of Camelback Road.
According to Ameresco and Brophy, the systems will provide 911.25kW DC, or 736.0kW AC, of power for the school and offset about 48% of Brophy’s annual electricity consumption
Arvizu-Rivera said students also convinced the school administration to use the expected $20,000 in annual energy cost savings for scholarships.
“They want to hear your ideas but in order to be taken seriously, you need to present it seriously, and present yourself seriously, and just keep pushing towards what you want and be ready for no’s a lot of no’s but if you’re strong you’re going to come out on top,” he said.
In a press release, Bob Georgeoff, Ameresco executive vice president said, "Our work with Brophy College Preparatory is a prime example of how sustainability can directly impact the student leaders of tomorrow to advance clean energy initiatives and the school’s mission, alike."