The electric bill be going down a bit, at the private school on S.E. Holgate Boulevard

ERIC NORBERG - Graduating fifth graders joined Executive Director Glen Gilbert in the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon with the big scissors to inaugurate use of the new solar panel roof at Tucker Maxon School. With the ribbon cut, Gilbert and many of the students reached for the big red switch on the power panel nearby, to put the new solar panels online. Months ago, Tucker Maxon School – a school for both deaf and hearing children on S.E. Holgate Boulevard – learned of the availability of grants from PGE for nonprofits to install solar panels to generate electricity on their roofs. Tucker Maxon applied, and was granted $128,000 to put solar panels on the school roof.

The money from these grants, a Portland General Electric representative explained at the celebration of the solar panel installation project on June 15, comes from the PGE customers who elect the "green power" option on their bill, by which they pay a little more to promote development of "Green Future energy", which includes generating power with solar panels.

June 15 also happened to be the last day of school before summer vacation at Tucker Maxon, and the graduating fifth graders were made part of the ribbon cutting ceremony on the same stage, in their gym, where they would be graduating shortly.

The ribbon was cut at 12:03 p.m., and many hands on the stage reached for the big red switch which, when pulled, put the 128 solar panels covering the school roof "online". The school expects half of its power needs will be filled with the solar installation, and any power not needed is sent back into the PGE power grid for a credit to the school.

Afterward, a barbeque lunch was served to all the students and parents present; the private school's cooks were busy just outside the gym's side door in the 11 a.m. hour, at the grill, preparing the meal.

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