Solar arrays at four schools in Augusta County are now complete and operational, bringing additional renewable energy to the Augusta County Public School system.
The combined one-megawatt (MW) solar project on the four schools, originally spearheaded by two local high school students, was financed byÂ Standard Solar, Inc., a leading solar energy company.Â The system is expected to generate an average of 30 percent of the energy used by the schools.
The arrays, on the rooftops of Riverheads Elementary School, Riverheads High School, Wilson Elementary School and Wilson Middle School, are now generating power as the result of a strong project collaboration between ACPS, Dominion Energy, Secure Futures and Standard Solar.
Secure Futures developed the project and provided the county with curriculum about solar energy that matches up with the stateâ€™s Standards of Learning. Standard Solar funded the project, which includes related educational opportunities for Secure Futures, and is responsible for long term system operation and maintenance, further minimizing the school districtâ€™s costs.
â€śStandard 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,â€ť said John Finnerty, Standard Solar. â€śWe also commend Virginia Governor Northamâ€™s recent Executive Order directing a pathway to 100% carbon free power and positioning the commonwealth for continued economic and community growth.â€ť
ACPS will save on their energy costs over the next 20 years by using solar energy, and the project didnâ€™t require any up-front costs from the county. ACPS currently has 10,500 students enrolled in 18 schools.
â€śStandard 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,â€ť added Finnerty.
â€śWith the largest solar power system at any school division in Virginia, Augusta County Schools is showing leadership thatâ€™s financial, environmental and educational,â€ť said Anthony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures. â€śUsing their own solar power, the schools will save nearly $500,000 over the next two decades, while making a positive contribution to Virginiaâ€™s clean energy mix and offering students hands-on learning opportunities in a 21st century industry.â€ť
According to theÂ Solar Energy Industries Associationâ€™s most recent dataÂ (Q2 2019), Virginia is the 18th largest solar state in the U.S., with 802.75 MW of solar installed. The stateâ€™s solar industry currently employs 3,890 workers and its solar growth projection and ranking exceed 2,900 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 7th).
Standard Solar, Inc. is a leading solar energy company specializing in the development and financing of solar electric systems nationwide. Dedicated to making Distributed Generation (DG) solar more accessible to businesses, institutions, governments and utilities, the company is forging the path for clean, renewable energy development through turnkey solutions. With more than 100 megawatts installed, financed and maintained, Standard Solar is one of the most trusted and respected solar companies in the US. Owned by Ă‰nergir, a leading energy provider with more than $5.8 billion US in assets, Standard Solar operates nationally and is headquartered in Rockville, Md. For more information, please visitÂ www.standardsolar.com
As a market and policy leader, Secure Futures builds, owns, manages and funds affordable Resilient Solar SolutionsÂ® for public-purpose entities. Headquartered in Staunton, Va., the company combines state-ofâ€“the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial scale solar readily affordable in Virginia, helping customers to realize the economic, environmental, and community benefits of solar energy. In 2017, Secure Futures became a Certified B CorporationÂ®, having met the exacting standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability established by the nonprofit B LabÂ®. For more information:Â http://www.securefutures.solar
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