(PV) technology converts sunlight into electrical energy. A single PV device is
known as a cell. An individual PV cell is usually small, typically producing
about 1 or 2 watts of power. These cells are made of different semiconductor
materials and are often less than the thickness of four human hairs. In order
to withstand the outdoors for many years, cells are sandwiched between
protective materials in a combination of glass and/or plastics. (Source:
U.S. Department of Energy)
As of 2022, MCPS has 17 solar PV locations with a total estimated capacity of 4.1 megawatts (MW) direct current installed. Eight additional sites are under development.
practices, such as rain gardens, are landscaped depressions that treat on-site
stormwater discharge from impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways,
sidewalks, parking lots and compacted lawns. They are used to collect stormwater
and filter it through a mixture of soil, sand and/or gravel. The designs of
bioretention practices mimic volume reduction and pollutant removal mechanisms
that work in natural systems. The filtered stormwater soaks into the ground,
provides water to plants and can help recharge the local groundwater supply.
Through these processes, bioretention practices reduce peak flows within
downstream sewer systems and allow pollutant removal through filtration and
plant uptake. (Source:
As of 2022, a total of 83 MCPS schools have bioretention systems.
technology harnesses the Earth’s heat. Just a few feet below the surface, the
Earth maintains a near-constant temperature, in contrast to the summer and
winter extremes of the ambient air above ground. Farther below the surface, the
temperature increases at an average rate of approximately 1°F for every 70 feet
in depth. (Source: U.S. EPA). To learn more about geothermal heating and cooling technologies, click here.
As of 2022, a total of 32 MCPS schools have geothermal heating and cooling systems.
A green roof is
a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system that is installed on
top of a flat or slightly–sloped roof. Green roofs are also known as vegetative
or eco–roofs. (Source: National Park Service)
As of 2022, a total of 40 MCPS schools have partial or full green roofs.