Traner Gets The Power Of Green

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A Reno middle school is getting in on the alternative energy bandwagon.

In a demonstration project, a dozen solar panels have been mounted on the roof of Traner Middle School to give the classrooms an alternative to fossil fuels.

The panels were installed by Sierra Pacific Power Co. in a program with the Desert Research Institute.

Along with providing a little alternative energy, the $45,000 project will save the school district a few bucks - about $400 of the school's annual energy bill of approximately $100,000.

But money is not the point.

"It's an attempt to impact behavior," said Hilary Crowley, the DRI's coordinator for GreenPower. "This is the age where they're introduced to energy concepts."

In addition to the solar panels, another Traner building sports a wind generator.

Three more Northern Nevada middle schools - Carson City, Mendive in Sparks and French Ford in Winnemucca - will be equipped with panels this year as part of the GreenPower program that started with Hyde Park Middle School in Las Vegas in 2002.