Last week, a bright milestone was reached – solar panels were delivered to be installed on the roof of Burien’s Highline High School, as part of a student-led effort to help provide power to the school.

Two 2021 graduates and the current president of the HHS Environmental Club were charged up at 8 a.m. on Aug. 4, 2022 to see the first of 285 panels, lifted by a very tall crane to the roof of the 3-story school.

As we previously reported, the school’s Environmental Club teamed up with Sustainable Burien to propose building a 100KW solar system on the school.

Highline School Board members approved the project budget of up to $424,975 in capital bond funds for the students’ solar panel system – including a grant, plus $11,300 in community donations students raised, along with future energy credits.

The solar installation will generate approximately 115,400 kWh in its first year of operation, which is the equivalent of $10,000 in energy savings. As a result of the successful award of a grant, the solar array is estimated to achieve a simple payback within the 25-year warranty period of the installed equipment.

In the photos below (courtesy Highline Public Schools), Nha Khuc, Jordan Powers and Kim Nguyen show off their Student Leadership Award given by former Superintendent Susan Enfield and the Washington Association of School Administrators Region 110 to the club this spring, recognizing their impact on their school and community since their effort began in 2020.

Mentor Elly-Hien Trinh from Sustainable Burien and Highline Public Schools’ Senior Construction Manager Ruth Meraz-Caron met up with the young leaders to watch the Premier Power Electric crew and check up on the 100-kilowatt project they instigated and advocated for, including a $12,000 community fundraiser and successful applications for a $110,000 grant from Washington State Department of Commerce and $125,000 in future renewable energy credits from the Seattle City Light Green Up program.

The 360-watt Silfab Solar Inc. modules are Made in Washington – part of the grant requirements.

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