Portland school to install solar panels

Portland school to install solar panels »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Southeast Portland elementary school could be the next home to the city's green energy project.

Mayor Charlie Hales announced Oliver P. Lent school will get solar panels next year - assuming enough money is raised.

According to Portland Public Schools, the school already has solar panels that were installed in 2009 and this project will add more.

"The solar project will increase solar capacity and be more of a showcase for learning and educating students on solar energy," said district spokeswoman Christine Miles.

The project is the latest action from the city's renewable energy fund - Solar Forward Fund - which began last year thanks to a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation.

That $100,000 grant led to the installation of a solar-electric system at the Southwest Community Center as well.

The fund aims to support local, renewable energy systems on public buildings.

"A school is a great location because it makes the point in a visible way, it teaches our children and takes advantage of a big rooftop that we all own," Hales said.

The fund needs $50,000 to put solar panels on the school. Right now it has more than $20,000 thanks to new donors including Portfolio 21 Investments, the Portland Development Commission, Solar World, Umpqua Bank and Wells Fargo.