Solar Power WorldOctober 8, 2019773
Solar power arrays at four more schools in Augusta County, Virginia, are now complete and operational, bringing additional sources of renewable energy to the Augusta County Public School (ACPS) system. The combined 1-MW solar energy project on the four schools, originally spearheaded by two local high school students, was financed by Standard Solar. It’s expected to generate an average of 30% of the energy used by the schools.
The solar panel installations on the rooftops of Riverheads Elementary School, Riverheads High School, Wilson Elementary School and Wilson Middle School, are now generating solar power as the result of a strong project collaboration between ACPS, Dominion Energy, Secure Futures and Standard Solar.
Secure Futures developed the solar energy project and provided the county with curriculum about solar energy that matches up with the state’s Standards of Learning. Standard Solar funded the project, which includes related educational opportunities for Secure Futures, and is responsible for long-term solar-powered system operation and maintenance, further minimizing the school district’s costs.
“Standard Solar is proud to provide funding for school districts like ACPS, counties, and colleges and universities that have begun to utilize renewables but need to do so without utilizing capital budgets,” said John Finnerty, director of business development at Standard Solar. “We also commend Virginia Governor Northam’s recent executive order directing a pathway to 100% carbon free power and positioning the commonwealth for continued economic and community growth.”
ACPS will save on their energy costs over the next 20 years by using solar energy, and the project didn’t require any up-front costs from the county. ACPS currently has 10,500 students enrolled in 18 schools.
“Standard Solar congratulates ACPS, Dominion Energy and Secure Futures with achieving the final system approvals for the onsite solar electricity generation, improving the school facilities and enhancing learning opportunities for decades to come,” Finnerty said.
“With the largest solar power system at any school division in Virginia, Augusta County Schools is showing leadership that’s financial, environmental and educational,” said Anthony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures. “Using their own solar power, the schools will save nearly $500,000 over the next two decades, while making a positive contribution to Virginia’s clean energy mix and offering students hands-on learning opportunities in a 21st-century industry.”
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