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The Greening of the Old School: Tuxedo Park School Solar Panel Dedication Ceremony

State of art system to provide nearly 30% of school’s energy

TUXEDO PARK, NEW YORK: How does one of the oldest pre-secondary schools in the country, especially a majestic Carrere and Hastings historic building, rank among the top schools nationwide for energy efficiency?   

Just ask Tuxedo Park School Headmaster James Burger who is leading students at this 110 year old school every step of the way to developing an improved carbon footprint. The school, which received an Energy Star rating in 2008, took yet another big step in its quest for “Green” with the dedication of a solar panel system designed to provide nearly 30% of the school’s energy. 

According to Burger, “The solar panel installation not only reduces our reliance on energy produced by fossil fuels, it also shows our students, their families, and our neighbors that sustainable practices are affordable, can be consistent with historic homes, and provide a small but important step towards a greener planet for the next generation. “ 

Operational since July, 218 shiny metal panels, known as a ”photovoltaic system” are housed on the roof of a wing adjacent to the main building “Blairhame” which was constructed by John Insley Blair back in 1915.  In just its first two months of operation, the system has generated 15 megawatts of electricity and reduced carbon emissions by 22,650 lbs.  

“This was an exceptionally unique project for Solar Energy Systems to install a state of the art photovoltaic system on a building of such historical and architectural import,” said Chris Patak, Head of Project Development for Brooklyn based Solar Energy Systems, a leading integrator of solar electric systems in the Northeastern United States. “We are especially excited that Tuxedo Park School has included Solar Energy Systems in their efforts to conserve energy and we are thrilled the 50 kilowatt system will offset approximately 1/3 of overall energy usage,” Patak said. 

The project was funded in part by a grant awarded by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Through NYSERDA’s partnership with M&T Bank, prime financing for the completion of the project was secured.

Tuxedo Park School has engaged students in a widespread concerted “Green” effort. Energy conservation strategies include the newly installed solar panels, the practice of unplugging coffee pots, turning off light switches and computers, and installing energy efficient windows. In addition, an organic garden produces vegetables for the school’s lunch menu. 

“Our hope is that all of us, especially the children who will benefit most, will work towards and demand, a greener and sustainable future through improved technology and solutions like the solar arrays we have utilized here,” said Burger

Future plans include a rainwater retention system for the front of the Middle School. 

Founded in 1900, Tuxedo Park School (TPS) is one of the oldest schools in the country specializing in pre-secondary education. TPS offers a curriculum that is traditional in its roots yet innovative in its approach, designed to spark intellectual curiosity while creating confident young leaders ready to embrace the challenges of the 21st century. Tuxedo Park School provides students with an opportunity to learn in safe, sustainable spaces with natural light and ventilation. TPS earned an Energy Star rating from the EPA in July of 2008. For more information, please contact Tuxedo Park School at 845.351.4737 or

About Solar Energy Systems (SES):

Founded in 1998, the SES base for operations, management and design is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Additional project management and business development efforts are coordinated from offices in Hawthorne, New York, and Newark, New Jersey.  As one of the Northeast’s leading full-service integrators of commercial solar power systems, SES specializes in delivering turnkey, cost-effective and reliable solar energy solutions to a diverse range of clients in government, private business, and the non-profit sector. 

More information on SES can be found at or by calling (718) 389-1545.

Press Contact:
Machi Tantillo
Solar Energy Systems, LLC
(973) 565-0170


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