James Fennimore Cooper Elementary School

5143 S. 21st St.
Milwaukee, WI
Operational date
July 2007
50 200-watt solar panels on roof of K-8 school for a total of 10 kilowatts.
Total project cost
$41,650 from We Energies
$21,705 from Focus on Energy
Estimated savings achieved
$2,130 per year in electricity savings
Energy for Tomorrow renewable energy participant
25 percent level
Setting an example for students of living responsibly and getting them involved in green practices throughout the Milwaukee Public School system were two goals Principal Richard Cohn envisioned when investigating use of solar power at his school.
"We looked at this project as more than a money-saving venture," he said. "Students at all grade levels were involved in learning about solar power. Kindergarteners learned about converting the sun’s power into energy, and older students helped research the project and calculated potential energy savings, costs and CO2 emission reductions. This project provided an opportunity to truly make a difference, while integrating the lessons learned into existing math and science curriculum."
Energy generated by the school's solar panels is sold to We Energies, eliminating the need for costly storage batteries. During the first year, the school's panels reduced the school's energy bill by an estimated 9.5 percent.
"The project complements our overall strategy for making our school more environmentally friendly," said Cohn.