Dominion Energy is expanding its Solar for Students program in Virginia to give more students the chance to observe and learn how power is generated by the sun. The hands-on learning program provides a permanent solar array right outside the classroom and the materials, training and curriculum needed to engage children in learning the science behind renewable energy.
Solar for Students was introduced as a pilot at four schools three years ago, and this year it is being introduced at five schools and a children’s museum. Dominion Energy and its partners will host “Solarbration” events this spring to showcase the latest solar projects and give students, local officials and others the chance to learn more about this collaborative learning endeavor. In addition, the company just announced plans to expand the program to eight schools in Southwest Virginia.
“We are very pleased to widen the scope of Solar for Students to reach more students and more regions of Virginia,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “The program has proven to be popular and well-received by both educators and students. It offers the materials and means to engage and teach young people the science behind generating clean, renewable solar energy—an energy source that will play a big part in their futures.” Funding for Solar for Students is provided through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.
Solar energy is growing rapidly in Virginia. Dominion Energy has invested nearly $1 billion in solar projects since 2015 and currently has more than 27 projects operating or under development. The company has long-range plans to bring 5,000 megawatts of renewable solar and wind power online, or enough to power 1.25 million homes.
Solarbrations are being held this spring at:
- Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (Albemarle County)
- Children’s Museum of Richmond (Richmond)
- Deer Park Elementary School (Newport News)
- Hampton High School (Hampton)
- Kenmore Middle School (Arlington)
- MathScience Innovation Center (Henrico)
These schools in Southwest Virginia will participate in Solar for Students during the 2018-19 schoolyear:
- Grundy High School (Buchanan County)
- Honaker Elementary School (Russell County)
- John I. Burton High School (Norton City)
- Lee County Career & Tech Center (Lee County)
- Ridgeview High School (Dickenson County)
- Tazewell High School (Tazewell County)
- Twin Springs High School (Scott County)
- Union Elementary School (Wise County)
Each Solar for Students participant receives a 1.2-kW photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electric energy, as well as technical support, educational materials and training for educators. Each solar installation has a visual display in the classroom showing real-time data on the electricity being generated. Each array can generate enough electricity at maximum output to power 18 desktop computers, 40 ten-gallon aquariums or fifteen 42-inch LED televisions.
The NEED Project (National Energy Education Development) administers the program by providing technical support, coordinating the installation of solar panels, preparing educational materials for students, and training the teachers.
Students can track the generation of electric power by viewing their data online and can challenge other participating schools around the world to a solar power match. Students will learn how weather and temperature impact solar electricity production, and they’ll learn more about Virginia’s energy resources.
For more on this program, visit www.dominionenergy.com/solarforschools.
News item from Dominion Energy