A new installation of solar panels sits atop the community center roof of St. Andrew Nativity School in Northeast Portland. The project was made possible by citizens who volunteered to pay a little extra on their monthly electric bill through Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program.

St. Andrew Nativity is a tuition-free Catholic middle school that makes Catholic education possible for families with a lower income.

“The Blue Sky program has offered Pacific Power customers a simple and powerful way to live their values, reduce their carbon footprint and support renewable energy,” said Berit Kling, Blue Sky renewable energy program manager at Pacific Power. “Through projects such as this, Blue Sky Block participants are powering a better future for local communities.”

At Nativity, the idea originated with students who learned about sustainable energy in science class and wanted to know if there were a way for the school to run on solar power. The school already had installed LED lights and a new energy-efficient HVAC system. The final part of the vision was the solar panels.