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Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay now harnessing power of sun

Last month, Georges P. Vanier Secondary School became the latest Comox Valley school to harness the power of the sun.

Vanier received a $20,000 grant from SolarBC to purchase and install solar panels.

"As both a graduate and former teacher at Vanier, I know this will be more than just a learning opportunity for the students — it's going to benefit our entire community for years to come," Comox Valley MLA Don McRae said in a news release.

Vanier becomes the fourth school in the Comox Valley to use solar power, as Huband Park Elementary School, Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School and Highland Secondary School have also started using solar panels this year.

SolarBC is providing a total of $220,000 to 11 schools across B.C. — $20,000 each — to purchase solar panels.

In total, the 11 schools will generate about 29,500 kilowatt hours of electricity per year from solar power — about enough energy to power three homes per year, according to the release.

The 11 schools will save about 712 tonnes per year in greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to taking 140 cars off of B.C. roads, it noted.

There are now 58 solar schools in B.C. — including  45  that have solar hot water and four schools that already have solar power through SolarBC grants.

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