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Ruch Outdoor Community School K-8 Starts Solar Project

March 6, 2018 

Ruch Outdoor Community School to Receive Solar Installation

Medford School District’s premiere outdoor school, Ruch Outdoor Community School K-8, is proud to be the first public school in the county to boast a solar installation.

The project, scheduled for installation by the end of this school year, is due to a $24 thousand grant from Pacific Power Blue Sky.  The funds are part of the Blue Sky Renewable Energy program that allows customers to contribute to renewable energy in their communities.

“Medford School District strives to be the best steward of public funds and resources possible,” said Superintendent Brian Shumate. “By partnering with Blue Sky we will be able to reduce our utility cost, promote renewable energy production and incorporate solar into our curriculum. We are extremely excited and grateful to have this opportunity that would not have materialized without the help of Blue Sky.

A 33 panel, 11.4 kW photovoltaic (PV) system on the school’s roof will generate 15,483 kilowatt hours annually, saving the district roughly two-thousand dollars annually in energy costs.

The project will include a kiosk to display site energy generation and usage, which the school will incorporate into its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum.

"At Ruch, our learning and teaching focuses on strengthening the ties between community, environment, and school,” said Ruch science teacher Ryan King.  “Out of this, we amass partnerships and advance a model of place-based education.  This project with Blue Sky supports these two outcomes.  Our work concentrates on community needs and real-world relevance.  For years, students were inspired by the district's commitment to sustainability, and began to think of what a small rural school could do.  From the beginning, students powered this endeavor, and they will continue to participate in a robust STEM curriculum generated by these solar panels. "

The total cost of the project is estimated at around $50 thousand. Ruch School fundraised nine-thousand dollars to contribute. The district’s capital projects fund will cover project the remainder of the costs.


KOBI-TV NBC5's video report can be found here: Ruch Solar Power Video